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Sports club calls for all-weather athletics track at new SKDC leisure centre


By East Kent Mercury Reporter


A sports club with more than 250 members is calling for Stamford’s proposed new leisure centre to include an athletics track.

Earlier this month, plans for new leisure centres in Stamford and the Deepings and a refurbishment of the Bourne centre were revealed by South Kesteven District Council.

The site for the Stamford centre has not yet been decided, but Stamford Striders running club members hope it will be a location with space for a sports track.

Stamford Striders(8002782)
Stamford Striders(8002782)

Chairman of Stamford Striders, Nick Wells, said: “We have been in talks with landowners at Borderville Sports Centre on Ryhall Road for a couple of years about creating an all-weather synthetic running track, similar to the ones in Peterborough and Grantham.

“Unfortunately the land behind Borderville is not large enough for a full-sized track. However, if South Kesteven is keen to invest in health and fitness, then I think this is an ideal opportunity to consider creating high-standard outdoor facilities too.”

During Summer Stamford Striders holds weekly training sessions on a grass running track, which it marks out on the football training pitches behind Borderville.

In the past, the club has hired the grass track at Welland Academy. The club’s junior section, which has 50 members and a waiting list for places, also trains on the grass behind Borderville from March until October.

Nick added: “We attract all levels of athletes, from absolute beginners right through to the area’s fastest runners.

“Unfortunately, though, over the years we have seen a trend of some of our runners improving to very high standards and then leaving us to join Peterborough-based clubs so that they can use an all-weather track and train to take their running further still. We’re also likely to see this happen with our talented Stamford juniors as they reach their late teens.

“In future it would be great to have more home-grown talent representing Stamford in regional and national competitions. With the right facilities we would love to be the club training them.”

Members of Stamford Striders’ committee have been investigating funding options from outside bodies that help clubs develop community sports facilities. They have also been in talks with InvestSK.

“The track would not be owned by Stamford Striders,”

Nick added. “Just like the leisure centre it would be a facility for everyone to use, including schools, other sports and fitness clubs, and individuals. However, we would certainly be keen to support the maintenance of the facility so that it doesn’t deteriorate over the years, and provides a training ground for future generations.”

An SKDC spokesman said: “As a council we have made a commitment to renewing and upgrading our leisure provision across South Kesteven. That investment is a key component of our vision to provide top-class leisure and sports facilities for all of our residents to give them somewhere to exercise, have fun and spend time with friends and family.

“We will be engaging with organisations and the community who use, or want to use, our leisure facilities as it is critical that we provide facilities that the community value and which are sustainable in the long-term.

“We will also be delivering a new sporting strategy as part of the overarching cultural strategy, and we’ve begun this work with the appointment of a sports development
officer.”

Questions or ideas about the leisure centres can be e-mailed to enhancingleisure@southkesteven.gov.uk



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