Sunday May 18th 2014

Here’s a guest post from Thomas Little on the subject of sporting Swindon.

It’s an interesting consideration on the value of sport generally and also the diversity of sporting facilities and activities Swindonian’s can enjoy. For the moment anyway.

Thomas’ comment about the successful sports people with Swindon origins is interesting. David Howell I know of but not anyone else – well apart from Don Rogers and Harold Fleming of course. There’s material there for further research and blog posts I feel.

Sport in Swindon 

“On a beautiful sunny day like today it’s hard for many to resist the urge to pull on a pair of boots, get the golf clubs in the back of the car or check the strings on the tennis racket and just get out there and take part in a sport. With a winter that wasn’t cold but certainly had its fair share of rain, there’s something almost primordial about the connection between sport and summer time and the residents of Swindon certainly have plenty of choices.

As a town, Swindon has a proud sporting tradition with Swindon Town F.C., Supermarine Rugby Club and a whole host of other local sporting teams, as well as being the home of a number of successful professional sports men and women involved in football, golf, boxing and more.

With venues across the town to cater to almost any sporting desire there really is no reason not to get involved.

One of the greatest sporting assets that the town has is the breadth of sports facilities on offer across the borough, whether its football, golf, cricket tennis or even something a little more subdued like bowls then there are a number of local clubs who would be happy for you to get involved.

However if you want to try your hand at something a little more energetic or you’re a bit of an adrenaline seeker then fear not! Swindon has a number of public skate parks, an indoor rock climbing wall, and, if you can travel a little further afield to the South Cerney Water Park, you can take part in jet skiing, cable water skiing and much much more.

With all of the choices on offer there is however something that we need to be mindful of which is the recent announcement by the local authority of plans to lease a number of public leisure facilities and playing fields.

The facilities concerned are the golf courses at Broome Manor, Highworth and Moredon and six leisure centres; Croft Sports Centre, Delta Tennis Centre, Dorcan Recreation Complex, Haydon Centre, Healthy Hydro and the Link Centre. The proposal does not include Highworth Recreation Centre at this point but may do so in the future[1].

The proposals for the leases themselves are for 99 years with a change of usage clause inset after 3 years. Whilst I understand it is not the intention of this blog to become mired in the politics of local government policy, I have highlighted this issue simply as a means of showing how important it is for people to make use of their local sports facilities. How many people have great memories linked with a local playing field, or with the local football pitch or tennis courts at this time of year? Especially when we have just seen the end of the football league and the FA Cup has been played. Now we have Wimbledon just around the corner, and the World Cup starts in a little over a month.

So let’s not forget how much a simple patch of grass, a net strung between two posts, or a public pool can have a positive effect not just on health but on our memories and our wellbeing. Get out there and enjoy sport, support your local communities and most importantly have a bit of fun!”

Read about the consultations on Swindon’s sports facilities here.