Incensed roller hockey enthusiasts across the region have hit back at Fife Council over its blaming of the sport for a potential £120,000 repair bill for Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre.
They say they are being made scapegoats for the council’s own mess, and it could result in roller hockey in Fife being killed altogether.
The claims follow revelations that the council opted to install a core-sports only floor to Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre when it was built in 2013.
Red faced council officers at the town’s area committee last week admitted allowing roller hockey teams to use the facility despite already knowing the flooring was not suitable.
“This is an embarrassing and blatant attempt by council officers to shift the blame onto the sport to cover for the repair bill now,” Murray Jamieson, Glenrothes Grizzlies team coach told the Press.
“Council officers promised when we were forced to move from the old Glenrothes Institute that the new Kirkcaldy facility would be suitable for roller hockey, but the court has never been fit for purpose and there have been problems with it from day one.
“That’s the fault of the council and those who took the decision to install a lesser quality floor, not the people who play the sport.”
And Mr Jamieson said the council’s offer of moving the sport to Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre could force many youngsters to abandon the sport completely.
“We have teams from under-10s, as well as Under-12s and under 14s yet the take them or leave them time slots offered at Cowdenbeath were just a nonsense.
“How can the council possibly expect players as young as ten years old to start training at 8.30pm and 9.00pm?
“It’s a complete shambles.”
Roller hockey enthusiasts gathered outside the Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre in a show of support for the sport which has proved popular in Fife for over 20 years.
“We are hoping the council sees sense and honours the commitment it made when the Fife teams agreed to move here, said Steve Gunn, who has been involved in sport for the past two decades.
“Fife Council says it is committed to getting more young people actively involved in sport yet this could have the opposite effect.