Anyone for tennis? No, say Ammanford cricketers
6:00am Tuesday 31st December 2013 in News
THE number of people using Ammanford Park’s tennis courts has plummeted – despite Andy Murray’s success at Wimbledon last summer.
That is the view of Jeff Roach, chairman of Ammanford Cricket Club, on the eve of a crunch meeting to decide whether one of the park’s four tennis courts can be replaced by two cricket practice nets – an issue which has split the community.
Members of Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee will hold a site visit tomorrow (Thursday) morning before discussing the matter in the council chamber at 1.30pm.
Council officers are backing the plan, which the cricketers say is crucial to their club’s development.
Critics of the scheme point out that the courts were donated to the town by Ammanford Miners Welfare in 1947 and have drawn up a 400-signature petition opposing the move.
But Mr Roach described the phrasing of the petition as “clearly misleading”, saying it gave the false impression that all four tennis courts would be replaced.
“A major debating point relates to the usage of the tennis courts,” he added.
“Even with Andy Murray’s success at Wimbledon last year the participation rates have plummeted.
“Every Friday night in the cricket season we have over 50 of our eight to 12-year-old members being coached by dedicated volunteers, as well as organised practice for other junior age groups and adults on other days of the week,” he said.
“They have all observed the lack of usage of the tennis courts when, at the most, there were two courts in use in peak season. The days of queuing up for courts have long gone.
“Most of the casual tennis played by children of the area is played at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman where they have five courts. Also, two courts at Betws Park have deteriorated due to lack of use."
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