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High School sports day cancelled

Created on 06/06/2019 @ 09:57
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Parents warned planners that building a school on the sports field at Salop Road would impact on grassroots sport, and their worst fears have been realised.

Despite promises of alternative facilities being provided, nothing has materialised as of yet and the High School has reluctantly conceded that it will have to cancel its sports day as a result of nowhere to hold it.

“I confirm that we are unable to hold a sports day this year due to the development of Salop Road fields,” Head teacher Jim Toal told us. “We are planning to reintroduce a reformatted sports day next year when the developments are hopefully complete.”

Construction on the new English primary school has ground to halt following the demise of construction firm Dawnus, and there are fears that costs could spiral once a new contractor has been found.

But it is the lack of playing fields as a result of the developments that has enraged parents who have shared their frustrations with us over the past 12 months.

“I hate to say ‘I told you so’ but, I told you so!” said one mother. “There were promises of alternative sports facilities being provided but nothing has happened. We were also promised new facilities at the high school but nothing has happened. It has been a shambles from day one but it is the kids that are missing out.”

Junior football teams have had to play matches out of town due to the shortage with some folding all together.

The local County Councillor, Graham Breeze, has also voiced his disappointment.

He said: “The High School has been placed in a very difficult situation caused by the delays by Powys County Council starting improvement work.

“Improvements to the area to the rear of the school and to the playing fields in front should have been completed several months ago to compensate the school for the loss of its playing fields on Salop Road for the new Welshpool Church in Wales Primary School.

“The current facilities are totally inadequate for a high school of Welshpool’s size and the remaining play area on Salop Road is nothing like the size everyone was led to believe.

“It is a huge disappointment that a school so famous for its athletic achievements is unable to hold its annual sports day in 2019.”

But a Powys County Council insider has shared some hope that a long-term solution can be found by confirming that work on the high school’s all-weather, tennis courts, changing rooms, toilets and drainage work on the sports fields is due to begin on Monday. However, the £1.6 million project will not be completed in time to save this year’s sports day.

PICTURE: A stock picture of the development when it was in full swing on Salop Road

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