Young people in the Oak Tree area have something to look forward to in the New Year – free sports coaching sessions on a well-lit games area.
Running for seven weeks, the coaching will take place on the multi-use games area (MUGA) behind Oak Tree Leisure Centre.
The MUGA has always been there as a free to use facility, but it has not been widely advertised and, until now, has been in darkness during winter evenings.
But a bid to Mansfield Partnership Against Crime (MPAC’S) Oak Tree Partnership Plus group by The Mansfield District Leisure Trust has resulted in money being awarded to pay for the MUGA lights to be on three evenings a week for two-hour slots throughout this winter.
The funding is also paying for the coaching and for the installation of signs on the side of the Leisure Centre to help people find it quickly and easily.
Having been made aware of the MPAC project, Tesco, which has a store next to Oak Tree Leisure Centre, has donated sports balls and The Mansfield District Leisure Trust who manage the facility on behalf of Mansfield District Council has funded replacement basketball hoops and backboards.
The project has been designed to reduce incidents of youth-related antisocial behaviour by providing diversionary activities for young people and somewhere to go on dark evenings.
The free coaching starts on 7th January and will run from 6pm to 7.30pm on a weekly basis. It is open to 10 to 14-year-olds who need to book at the Leisure Centre reception. Further details and booking are available on 0345 000 0231.
Heather Rabett, who chairs the Oak Tree PP group, said: “The MUGA is a popular place for young people to play but until now they have not been able to use it during the winter months when it is dark after school.