Glenrothes cllr: “We need a comprehensive sports plan for the town”

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A Glenrothes councillor has called for an end to the year-long delay in creating a comprehensive sports strategy for the town.

Councillor Craig Walker told colleagues that “many great things” were happening within the town but questioned why a year on from being elected to serve the community, he was yet to see a strategy in place.

Councillor Craig Walker

Councillor Craig Walker

“Maybe I’m being impatient, but we’ve been asking for a local plan or a sports strategy for a year now. It was discussed the first time I attended the area committee as a newly elected councillor, yet we are no nearer achieving it,” said Cllr Walker.

“There are a lot of good things going on within the area but I don’t see what the future vision is for this town when it comes to sports and well being. What is the plan, where is the strategy?”

His comments were made as the town’s councillors discussed a Fife Council report on the provision and support for physical activity and sport in the Glenrothes area.

Cllr Walker’s strategy call was echoed by fellow SNP councillor Fiona Grant who added: “This committee has asked repeatedly for a vision for the future, it is not acceptable to simply provide what we think people want, but to find out what they want.

“We need a five-year strategy and to identify what the gaps are within our provision.”

A short-life working group has now been agreed to draw up a sports strategy for the Glenrothes area.

The discussion comes in the wake of the announcement that a new £2.3m football training facility is to be built alongside the the town’s Michael Woods Sports Centre, and the news that the Scottish Football Association has approved the final £250,000 in a £1m project to build a new community facility for the Strollers Football Club.

Officers told the committee that work is expected to commence on the new Strollers facility around June with a completion date hoped for October.

Councillor Altany Craik said the that any investment into the town must be welcomed whenever the opportunity arises, adding: “There are many diverse activities going on for all age groups and abilities , maybe it’s up to us as councillors to shout about them more.”

However there was broad agreement over the need to engage girls and young women into taking an interest in sport and physical activity.

“We need to do more to promote sport to young girls and women and while I welcome the recent investment for football at the Michael Woods Centre, sadly you will not attract more females to take up sport if it is promoted solely by men,” said Cllr Julie Ford.

The lack of progress over plans for a sports hub at Givenbank Park were also highlighted with phase one yet to start.

“This was and still is an ambitious plan but I had hoped that we would have made more progress,” said Cllr Kay Morrison.