Last week in Parliament, I spoke at length about the importance of sports facilities in communities like ours, both to support and give opportunities to our young people to take part, and also to help us all to be healthier and happier, writes Ben Bradley MP.
When you look through the figures, Mansfield doesn’t score well for healthy lifestyles, particularly on inactivity and high smoking rates.
And if that’s going to change in the future , then the town needs to have the facilities available for people to keep fit and active.
Following from conversations with Ministers over several months, I put forward a debate on Wednesday that focussed on old sports facilities, and specifically those connected with miners’ welfares.
So many local clubs and teams utilise these venues but increasingly they could use some more help to keep them running, keep up with modern regulations for the buildings, and make them sustainable for the future.
In the debate I spoke about Welbeck Lions and about Forest Town Arena, two examples of facilities in the old welfare that sustain local sports.
I was also lucky enough to visit the John Fretwell Centre and meet with John, and the centre manager Mark, to hear the story of how the centre came to be.
It’s a fantastic example of how a well-run facility with some financial backing (thanks to John’s generosity in this case) can be made sustainable and be a huge asset to the community.
I’ve asked the Minister responsible for this to look in to how funding could be channelled towards coalfield areas at the Government’s own mission statement says money should be spent in areas where people are less active, an area where, as I said, unfortunately we top the charts.
I’m particularly keen of course to find financial support for Warsop to get new leisure facilities following the closure of Meden Sports Centre.
I’ll keep then pressure on Government to help.