Around 50 people turned out in the rain on Saturday to support the SPLASH (Save our PooL And Sports Hall) campaign to get South Leeds Sports Centre reopened, one year on since it was closed by the council. Since it was bonfire night, people were invited to wear ‘V’ for Vendetta Guy Fawkes masks and sparklers were provided for the kids. The event was hugely successful and was very well supported by the local residents, community and faith groups.
Campaigners were invited to address the crowd to let them know their concerns and several people gave their views. Adam Ogilvie was in attendance and he provided an update on the current situation, including a proposal by Children’s Services to replace the centre with a new primary school and the negotiations with the Greenhouse for them to refurbish and reopen the centre – the Greenhouse proposal may be a runner.
Steve Johnston said:
“It wasn’t impossible to get it reopened. What we needed was some proper funding from the council and anybody else”.
Other comments from campaigners included:
“None of the other nearby sports centres are as good as South Leeds.”
“We need to reopen the pool because otherwise we have to go far away to go to another sports centre.”
“Reopen the pool – I used to come swimming here.”
A father of five said “We have to drive nearly an hour to go to another pool and come back.”
“It’s healthy to have sports centres, swimming pools and such activities ……… the authorities should try to reopen this for all the residents and especially the youth and kids of Beeston”
“… playing field, sports centre and school don’t seem to fit ……. we shouldn’t lose the facility for South Leeds and Beeston.”
SPLASH members were extremely delighted with the turnout which showed the extent of the support in the community for the centre to be reopened. The campaign will continue and the next meeting of SPLASH is scheduled for 7pm on 5 December at Hillside.