MAJOR REPORTS MISSING FROM GLA SPORTS CENTRE DOCUMENT SAY CAMPAIGNERS
TWO MAJOR reports on the use of Crystal Palace sports centre have NOT been included in a final GLA document on its future.
The reports from UK Athletics – the sport’s governing body – and from London Sport, the lead strategic body for community sport in the capital, both support the need for indoor athletics at the Palace.
Now the Crystal Palace Sports Partnership which supports a mixed-use sports and leisure centre at Crystal Palace are demanding to know why the reports have been left out.
John Powell MBE, who chairs the CPSP, says: “‘Questions need to be asked as to why these two important documents are missing from the final GLA report, when such important long term decisions are being made.
“An indoor track is essential in minimising injury for all track athletes, who need to be able to access a sheltered facility the year round. “Without an indoor track dozens if not hundreds of athletes will be rendered ‘homeless’. “It will be devastating for the sport.
‘The UKA report proves beyond doubt that there is a robust business case that would support the retention of some form of indoor training area.
“The loss of indoor athletics facilities alone at the Palace will be a disaster, leaving athletes from club to elite level trying to train in freezing British winters, which is nothing short of a disgrace.”
A CPSP spokeswoman says: “In May the GLA published the CPNSC development options appraisal final report, which comprised the findings from the 2014 public consultation.
“Its research findings had no option to retain any indoor training facility at Crystal Palace but new evidence from the UKA, suggests otherwise.
“A replacement facility at Crystal Palace would ensure excellent indoor provision across the whole of the south of London – a densely populated area in terms of England Athletics affiliated clubs and track & field members’.
“The report says sportshall, jump festivals, recreational and fitness activities are just some of the many clubs, sports and community groups that would also benefit from the year round facility.”
UKA chief executive Neils de Vos says: “Whilst the introduction of the Olympic stadium – has removed the need for Crystal Palace as an international competitive venue, UK Athletics and England Athletics supports the retention of appropriate indoor and outdoor athletics facilities at Crystal Palace in order to service the considerable demand for athletics from registered clubs and members living in the south London area.”
John Powell adds: “As the UKA report indicates, accessing alternative athletic training venues such as Sutton arena and Lee Valley are virtually inaccessible to those commuting by public transport from this area. “Meanwhile, an excellent transport hub serves Crystal Palace.”