Sport

Community football club praises council’s free park scheme

A community football club has praised Swansea Council’s decision to suspend charges for sports pitches until the end of March next year.

Waunarlwydd Galaxy say the move has made a real difference to the club, with more and more of their junior, senior and veteran members now enjoying football once again.

Many other local football, rugby and cricket teams across the city are also benefitting from the suspension of the charges at council-owned pitches, which forms part of a £20 million Swansea Council economic recovery package.

Dean Thomas-Welch, Chairman of Waunarlwydd Galaxy, said: “This decision by Swansea Council is a massive show of support for local sport and the benefits they bring our communities.

“Running a football club is an expensive business and facility hire costs account for the vast proportion of our income. Allowing clubs the freedom to run sessions, train and play games, free of charge, will hopefully help them survive during these tough economic times. As we emerge from lockdown, getting boys, girls and adults active once more is going to be critical to our future health and well-being.”

After visiting a Waunarlwydd Galaxy Juniors training session, Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “When you make a decision to remove charges for the benefit of the community, it’s only when you visit clubs like Waunarlwydd Galaxy that you see the real impact of those decisions.

“We know how important it is for communities to have access to parks and play. This is vital for people’s health and well-being, as well as for their mental health, so I’m delighted to see the difference our decision to suspend charges is already having in communities like Waunarlwydd.

“This is one of many actions we’ve introduced as part of our £20 million economic recovery package to give Swansea’s residents and businesses support as we emerge from the pandemic.”

As well as sports clubs, the suspension of the charges also applies to community groups, businesses and charities for outdoor exercise activities in council-owned parks and other outdoor spaces.

Bookings are still required for the use of these council-owned outdoor spaces. Charges remain in place for the use of specialist and indoor facilities, plus 3G pitches.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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