Richmond Volleyball and the Voluntary Community Sport Sector launch public petition to oppose Richmond Council\'s proposed planning application to build an obsolete indoor sports hall at Waldegrave Girls School (Twickenham).
What is the issue!
Against advice and specifications outlined by Sport England, Richmond Council and the Conservative-Run council insist on continuing with plans to use tax payers money to build a multi-million pound sports hall which is actually obsolete in size (34.5m x 18.0m x 7.5m) at Waldegrave Girls School (Twickenham). This means it will not be fit for purpose, represents poor value for money in terms of sports development outcomes and will not support the wider community use, so will therefore be a waste of tax payers money.
Richmond Council hope to fund this obsolete sport hall by sale of the existing tennis courts to part fund the scheme. Local councils and politicians cannot ignore community sport requirement and need to come back in line with Sport England National Planning Facilities Framework and build a (34.5m x 20.0m x 7.5m) sports hall that is fit for purpose, represents excellent value for money in terms of sports development outcomes and will support the wider community use.
Sport England and the Community want to see that the loss of the tennis courts is compensated by the provision of a sports hall that will meet the community sporting need and adhere to Sport England recommendations. This means the construction of a sports hall that is (34.5m x 20.0m x 7.5m). These dimensions would deliver a facility that is fit for purpose, value for money in term of sports development outcomes and supports community sports providing a sustainable legacy following the Olympics.
Sport England new sports hall model (34.5m x 20.0m x 7.5m) offers two meters additional width space and one and half meters length - although relatively small this actually provides far greater potential for maximising the space, making it a more useful and attractive facility for a number of sports e.g. volleyball, basketball and netball.
The opportunity for 2 full size volleyball training courts instead of one, means that potentially 24 people can be active instead of 12 or one court can be utilised leaving half the hall available for a different booking to keep costs to a minimum. Sports like volleyball are crying out for better school links, great access to quality and affordable facilities. So, this larger sports hall will be a true benefit not only to the students but the wider Richmond sporting community.
Please extend your support to this cause by putting your name to this petition. Thank you.
Commenting on Richmond Councils proposals.
Sue Appleton (Sport England, Schools Liaison Officer), LBRuT will need to put forward a planning application to Sport England for the change of use of the existing tennis courts that are being sold to part fund the scheme. Sport England will want to see that this loss of recreational facility is compensated by substitute provision that is of acceptable replacement value. Unfortunately (34.5 x 18.0 x 7.6 m) is “not fit for purpose and represents poor value for money in terms of sports development outcomes”.
Andy Sutch (Chair, Sport Richmond), ‘Active People’ surveys in London have shown that Richmond Borough, at over 40% has a high adult participation rate, much delivered by community sports clubs but this proposal from LBRuT will undermine the potential for growth. The Waldegrave School sports hall decision is incredible in the light of Sport England’s advice. Our recommended guidance does not support the construction of a new 33m x 18m x 7.6m sports hall as for many sports it is not fit for purpose and represents poor value for money in terms of sports development outcomes
Lisa Wainwright (CEO, Volleyball England), Sport England new sports hall model offers two meters additional width space and one and half meters length - although relatively small this actually provides far greater potential for maximising the space and making it affordable particularly for volleyball. The opportunity for 2 full size training courts instead of one, meaning that potentially 24 people can be active instead of 12 or once court can be utilised leaving half the hall available for a different booking and keeping costs to a minimum
Andy Reed (Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance): Its the many sports clubs who are playing a vital role in this endeavour to succeed on the legacy promise. Sport Clubs are crying out for better school links, greater access to quality and affordable facilities and the removal of pointless red tape. All of these things are acting as a barrier to increasing club membership. The last thing that we want to be is negative, but we do think it’s time for local councils and politicians to be more creative and pro-active about how we deal with these issues. We are living in challenging times but that’s all the more reason to think hard and smart about how we deliver sport and physical activity across the UK in the long-term, over the next twenty yearsDavid Rijvers (Chair, Richmond Volleyball), the primary aim for Volleyball (an Olympic Sport and as part of the legacy from the Olympic Games) is to provide an affordable, community based facility that will give young people and adults – irrespective of Social class, gender, ethnicity or financial circumstances – the opportunity to develop through participation in volleyball and fitness and related activities. It\'s very disappointing that the LBRuT has not fully participated in partnership with the Community sports groups regarding it strategic commitment to sport and leisure for the borough. The community will have another obsolete sports hall which is not a good return for tax payers, will not be “Fit for purpose”, "value for money" and will not improve the sustainability for community sport.