Squash players hit out at courts plan

ANGRY squash players in Lowestoft have hit out at plans to replace their courts with a cr�che at a council-run sports centre.A campaign has been launched, letters have been written and a petition is being formulated by coaches and local players upset at proposals from Waveney District Council to close two squash courts at the Water Lane sports centre.

ANGRY squash players in Lowestoft have hit out at plans to replace their courts with a cr�che at a council-run sports centre.

A campaign has been launched, letters have been written and a petition is being formulated by coaches and local players upset at proposals from Waveney District Council to close two squash courts at the Water Lane sports centre.

The council has unveiled a blueprint to carry out a �6m redevelopment of the town's main sports centre but the move has sparked anger from squash players.

Paul Martins said the closure of the Water Lane courts would leave Lowestoft without public squash facilities.


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The council meanwhile has insisted no final decision has been taken about the future of the centre's squash courts as they were still in a period of consultation, but they added that figures showed the courts were only in use for 30pc of the available time.

With campaigners meeting sports centre managers next Friday, Mr Martins has written to councillors to express the concerns of locals. He insists players are backing improvements to the sports centre, but not at the expense of squash.

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'The government is actively encouraging participation in all forms of sport to combat obesity and diabetes, yet here we have a centre looking to close a sport,' he said.

'All the players believe the centre has a responsibility to provide facilities for all sports and these should necessarily be profit-making.'

A council spokesman said: 'The main purpose of the redevelopment of Water Lane Leisure Centre is to create a facility which will encourage as many residents as possible to participate in leisure activities and therefore to improve the general health and wellbeing of our communities.

'The plans that have been submitted are true to this vision and could realise up to �1 million potential capital funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.'

See �6m upgrade plan for sports centre in this week's Journal.

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