SEAFORD: Support for new sports centre ‘dream’

Stu Robertson at the gas works site
Stu Robertson at the gas works site

SUPPORT is mounting for a Seaford resident’s plans to create a community sports centre for the town’s youth.

Stu Robertson, who has lived in the town since he was 11, went off to run a game reserve in South Africa, but on his return he was keen to get involved in a project to benefit residents.

The 24-year-old has his eye on a building in Blatchington Road on the gasworks site.

He says he was also keen on the disused Elm Court building but it appears demolition work is currently being carried out on the site which was given the go-ahead for housing.

Stu, who has spoken to the town council, police and Seaford Head Community College about the idea, said, “The best thing about this centre is that it won’t take away from the other leisure centres in this area.

“We are not planning to offer football or badminton, we want to offer sports that aren’t available in Seaford.”

Boxing, basketball, a gym and classes for older people are some of the facilities Stu hopes to offer the community as well as hiring out the venue to groups in the area and keeping the cost relatively low for users.

He has had a meeting with Councillor Jon Freeman and town clerk Sam Shippen who have supported the idea of a community sports centre.

The former Seaford Head Community College pupil has also contacted Sport England and the Prince’s Trust to ask for funding for the scheme.

Elm Court in Blatchington Road closed its doors back in 2006 much to the dismay of residents.

The following year Seaford MP Norman Baker branded the building an eyesore after it was sprayed with graffiti and in May 2009 proposals to demolish the site and build homes were approved.

Stu said, “It’s a shame that we can’t use Elm Court because I used to come here as a kid and we grew up here.

“I used to play basketball and it was somewhere for kids to go at night.”

However, he is keen to push ahead with his latest project and added, “So far it’s been greeted with open arms.

“I have never seen people with so much enthusiasm, when I speak to people about it their eyes light up.

“People have been looking for something like this for a long time.”

Anyone interested in getting involved with supporting the scheme should contact Joanne Smith on 414485.

Stu Robertson is pictured above at the gasworks site.