Formal football at Shaw Forest Park could become a reality if Swindon Council, the Shaw Forest Protection Group and the North Wilts Youth & Minor Football League can come to an agreement.
Swindon Link has reported the Shaw Forest Protection Group concerns about Swindon Council?s plan for the flat open space already prepared in the park. The North Wilts Youth & Minor Football League have applied to the council to lease pitches and Shaw Forest has been suggested.
At a meeting between league officials and members of the protection group in July, league secretary Margaret Rivers, from Shaw, said, “every weekend about 5,000 seven to 18 year olds play in our league and we?re now the fifteenth largest in the FA. We have 367 teams within 30 miles of Swindon needing pitches and 60 new teams will be joining in September.
“Swindon Council?s provision for junior football is very poor and pitches expensive to hire. Children are not allowed to play alongside adults, nor use the same changing facilities. There is a desperate need for more pitches and we?re searching for sites we can lease and take responsibility for.
“We?re very concerned about providing football for less advantaged children so that they can join teams and participate.” Football mum Karen Puffett, from Peatmoor, said “I did the protest against the stadium proposal two years ago, but football for children is different. I think the forest group and junior football can work together.”
If successful in securing use of the pitches the league would have to raise money and seek grants to for changing rooms. League chairman Kevan Williams said, because of the lack of services to the site, any building would have to be eco-friendly and be designed to blend into the forest park setting. He added that it could also open to provide refreshments to park visitors.
Don Rogers, former Swindon Town star and president of the junior league, said he was impressed by the forest site. “It?s a perfect place which would not cause anybody any problems. “Swindon has lost so many playing fields and the council is not doing enough to provide more for its children.”
Click here for concerns about the use of Shaw Forest: www.swindonlink.com/php_article_show.php?id=146
Shaw Football Club is looking for players to join squads playing at under 8s (boys and girls in Year 2 or 3 from September) and also at under 12 and under 15 age groups.
The teams train on the Greendown School astro-turf and will be playing in their respective age groups in the North Wilts Youth League.
For details about joining, call: Under 8s – Gerald Kent, tel: 613576 or 07736 901382;
Under 12s – Kevin Prictor, tel: 525680;
Under 15s – Dave Parsons, tel: 870310.
For details on other age groups call club secretary Karen Prictor on 525680.