SPORT LETTER: ‘Lack of good quality pitches has always been a problem’

Grassroots footbal at its purest.
Grassroots footbal at its purest.

We recently published a case study of the local grassroots scene and showcased some examples of the problems that sides face.

The problems experienced by clubs at a local level range from inadequate facilities, a lack of funds and in some cases a dearth of players willing to turn out.

Read the grassroots case study here

Our article prompted a flurry of feedback from people in the area wanting to express their views on the issue.

Here, another correspondent tells us their views and whether they think there is any solution to the problem.

“Reading the recent article on grassroots football, it reminded me of the distinct lack of decent pitches and changing facilities in Buxton.

All the subjects raised have been a problem for decades.

The description of the changing facilities the Blazing Rag are currently using sounds little short of appalling, as to is the process they have to go through to make the pitch playable before kick-off.

The removal of dog faeces before each game is disgraceful - I walked the pitch twice last week and on both occasions had to walk around three such deposits.

Like most responsible dog owners I clean up after my dog. Why is it that some other owners feel that they do not have to?

Returning to the condition of the playing surface, I found the marking adequate however the grass was three inches long, which is far too long to be able to play proper football and it was in urgent need of a good rolling.

Now I presume the club pay an annual fee, in which case some basic maintenance should be included within the fee.

The lack of good quality pitches and changing facilities has always been a problem in Buxton. Fairfield Centre remains the only quality facility in the town.

Managing the Buxton Strollers in 1990s was a privilege but sometimes it could be a little embarrassing especially when hosting teams from outside the area.

One team were on the verge of calling the game off when they saw our facilities.

Most, if not all, of the clubs in Buxton are run by a small group of dedicated volunteers without which none of the clubs would survive.

It’s a great pity that High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council cannot provide suitable pitches and changing rooms.

Or at least have an amount of money set aside i.e. a local sports grant that clubs could apply for.

It would also be good to see a more stringent law enforced on dog fouling, such as increasing the fine.”

Paul Timmins