The Guernsey Sports Commission is concerned about the impact that the extended closure of the Sir John Loveridge Hall at Beau Sejour will have on those sports and organisations who rely on the space.
‘Whilst we understand the need for the community vaccination centre, we are disappointed that the impact on sport and physical activity does not appear to have been given sufficient priority within the criteria for selecting the site,’ said Graham Chester, Operations Director for the Guernsey Sports Commission.
‘The Sir John Loveridge Hall is the island’s only large community sports hall and losing it for such a long period of time is going to be extremely disruptive to a large number of sports, their players, coaches, supporters and the wider community.
‘We would like to understand the criteria used for deciding to select the sports hall ahead of any others States-owned or indeed private buildings that may also have been suitable to house the vaccination centre.
‘We are in contact with a number of sporting organisations including basketball, volleyball, trampolining and Guernsey Mobility Let’s Go who use the sports hall on a regular basis for training and competition with a view to trying to find alternative venues, but the reality is that it is going to be impossible to find a suitable home for all these activities, many of which require specific equipment and storage for that equipment,’ said Graham.
‘We were also putting the final touches to the schedule for the 2021 Specsavers Youth Games due to take place in May, with a number of sports relying on the sports hall to be able to offer the training sessions and provide the competition venue for Games Day. We are working on trying to book alterative venues but again this may not prove possible for all sports.
‘We are also looking at how we can find alternative venues for the schools who currently use the sports hall for their weekly PE sessions including students from La Mare de Carteret High who undertake core and GCSE PE lessons there. It may be that those schools will have to reduce their PE lesson time over the next few months.’
The Guernsey Sports Commission is collating a full list of sport and activity sessions potentially affected and is asking member sports to get in contact if they have any concerns about events that may be negatively impacted by the closure of the Sir John Loveridge Hall.
‘We are speaking to those involved in the decision-making process and sharing detailed information on the impact for local sport and education. We hope to be able to share further information with our member sports soon,’ said Graham.
Note to Editors: The Guernsey Sports Commission does not wish to make any further comment at this time and so will not be providing anyone for interview.