'It's appalling': Frustration over closure of sports centre to public
- Credit: Abbeycroft Leisure
Members of the public have voiced their frustration over the decision to close Sudbury sports centre to the community.
Sudbury sports centre, situated at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, will close its doors to the public indefinitely at the end of this month after a contract with Abbeycroft Leisure was not renewed.
The decision to close the sports centre to the public comes after the academy said it is reflecting on how best to support the PE/sport/fitness curriculum with the school, whilst potentially offering community use to their sports facilities again in the future.
Members of the public feel it's the wrong decision to close the sports centre to the community as people are now wanting to go and exercise more since the pandemic.
Campaigner Jon Hill said: “Our local Sports Centre is to be closed to the public by Ormiston Sudbury Academy.
"This wonderful place has been a keystone in the local community for decades, with numerous clubs, events and facilities enjoyed by the people of Sudbury and beyond.”
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’It will have no impact on the school as this Sports Centre is run after school hours."
The sports centre is home to many clubs as well, including a karate and archery club, which both hold major competitions at the centre.
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Trevor White, who runs the South East Freestyle Karate club said his club will struggle to find adequate premises in three weeks for his club.
The Tudor Archers archery club has said it will be impossible to find a hall big enough to be able to shoot 30 metres which means the club may have to downsize.
Sudbury town mayor Sue Ayers said she was appalled to hear about the decision of the sports centre closing down.
“I’m simply appalled to hear of the closure of the Sports Centre, which has been such an important place for the people of our town for many years," the mayor said.
"There is so much government advice at the moment to exercise more, so surely this closure is counter-intuitive and damaging for our community.
"I would wholeheartedly encourage the Ormiston Sudbury Academy to reconsider it’s decision, and do the correct thing by keeping this vital facility open.”
An online petition has been set up to try and save the sports centre.
Caroline Wilson, headteacher at Ormiston Sudbury Academy, said: “As the contract has come to a natural end with Abbeycroft and whilst we are still recovering from the pandemic, this is a suitable time for us to reflect on the needs of the academy and consider options for the future.”