The MSP who led the fight to save the running track at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility has hailed it as a victory for common sense after NL Leisure bowed to public pressure to keep the track open.
Graham Simpson campaigned after it was revealed that there were proposed plans to reduce the 100m track – one of only two in Scotland – and give over the space to other sports to help balance the books at NL Leisure. After the result of a recent consultation, NL Leisure confirmed it will retain the track along with the existing technical facilities, including the jump and throw areas.
Mr Simpson said: “I’m delighted that common sense has prevailed over this matter. It was an emotive topic for all concerned and I stated last month that what must not happen is that we pit sport against sport. The local clubs and other users of the track have all been at pains to point out the need to co-exist and make the best use of the track hall. The results of the consultation back this up.
“Athletics by nature is a two-season sport and will move indoors in the winter and then back out in the summer. The 100m indoor track is one of two in the whole of Scotland and it would be a shame if it was lost, especially considering the harsh weather we experienced recently.
“I’m delighted to see joined-up thinking from NL Leisure; the popular ‘Run Jump Throw’ athletics programmes will now take place before athletics club bookings. This should encourage a pathway into athletics from younger participants. Athletics and other sports can work together; coaches from other sports can benefit from the athletics coaches' knowledge and vice versa. It is to everyone’s benefit that all the sports work together. This seems to be the case and I applaud everyone for finding a resolution that allows all sports to continue to use the fantastic facility.”