'Clubs are at a crossroads: take on facilities you can't afford or fold.'
10:10am Friday 14th February 2014 in Sport
An open letter to the sports clubs of Carmarthenshire.
I’m sure you will all join me in agreeing that this will be a very trying and difficult time for all the clubs within the catchment area.
The fact that the council are trying to pass this decision off as nothing by openly declaring that “the council fully supports sport in Carmarthenshire at all levels” is shocking.
If the council supported sport as they claim why are they then asking clubs to take over facilities?
The alternative is for the potential cost for pitch hire to increase to a level they know cannot be maintained by the majority of the amateur sporting clubs in our area.
So in reality each club will now find itself at a crossroad: Either they will have to take over a facility they probably can’t afford, or they will have to face the stark reality that their club will have to fold. I was truly saddened to read the plight of Tumble RFC in a recent local article.
Wales as a country is light years behind many of our European counterparts when it comes to sporting facilities and standards of play.
It is my great fear that if these measures are implemented we will fall yet further behind and it does not appear that there will be any measures to rectify this dire situation in the near future.
We were all led to believe that there would be a sporting legacy after the 2012 Olympic Games
After spending £8.7billion, we were promised a legacy that would make us fitter and healthier, with greater emphasis placed on the development of our sports at amateur level.
This has simply not happened. We are now worse off than before they began.
Professional sport simply cannot flourish if the grassroots levels are not supported appropriately. Funding is essential to create the opportunities necessary to develop the sporting stars of tomorrow.
If Carmarthenshire county council really does need to save £30million, how on earth can councillors justify the public money spent on the Scarlets?
Surely if they had kept this money and invested it at grassroots levels the development of young players would have benefitted the Scarlets all the more in the long run.
I am calling on a member of every sporting club in Carmarthenshire to get in touch to see if we can all help each other in these desperate times - or at the very least come up with some form of recovery plan for sport in our county.
Sporting clubs looking to unite should contact me by email at Theball10@hotmail.co.uk. Alternatively, concerned clubs can contact the recently established Carmarthenshire Unified Sports Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org