Sunday, 5 October 2008
A vision for sport in Ipswich
As a councilor you do get invited to a number of events, you can't go to them all but I do feel it is my duty to attend as many as possible. As a great fan of all sport, I do try to attend as many sport events in Ipswich as possible. This week I went to town hall to help celebrate the announcement that Ipswich will host the 2012 European Cyclo-Cross Championship. the event will be held in Chantry Park.
The council and Team Ipswich have helped Ipswich get the event but most of the hard work has been done by local Cycling guru, Steve Grimwood.
The highlight of the launch event was the attendance of the BBC cycling commentator, Hugh Porter, who spoke about how proud he had been to commentate on the GB cycling golds at this years Olympics.
It is great news that we will host such a big event in 2012 and this along with the gymnastics centre likely to be used as an Olympic training venue by one of the competing nations are all feathers in the cap of the council and Team Ipswich.
But it did get me thinking- do we have a vision of where sport is going in Ipswich?
I remember as a school kid in Ipswich we had very few facilities in the town but an Officer at the council- Randal Bevan had a vision and with the Labour run Ipswich Borough Council was able to deliver, sports centres at Whitton, Maidenhall, Northgate, an athletics track at Northgate, Crown Pools, a cycle speedway track at Whitton and the Gymnastics centre at Gainsborough.
But now we seem to have promises of more facilities- a cycle velodrome was mentioned by Hugh Porter at this event but Cllr Judy Terry seems keen to make such announcements, as she did over a 50M pool for Portman Road but we never seem to see any concrete proposals. at the same time we have Broomhill Swimming Pool being refused a Lottery Grant, with the lack of council commitment being given as one of the reasons for the failure to get a grant.
At the same time Crown Pools is need of urgent repairs but all we get is statements in the press saying how keen they are on Broomhill, how a cycle velodrome will be built and so on.
What is needed is a proper plan for the provision of sport in Ipswich over the next 20 years, what new facilities will be built and what money will be spent on improving and maintaining present facilities.
I am afraid that all we get at the moment from Judy Terry are some great idea's but with little chance of any being pushed through. Maybe if Mrs Terry can't deliver she should take up cycling or as Norman Tebbit would have told her- "get on your bike!"