LETTER: Youth hopes and dreams squashed

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Horsham Youth would like to express their feelings about the planning application being refused and the impact it has not only on Horsham FC Youth squads but all the young people within the Horsham community.

Many budding young footballers within the district dream of playing for their favourite team which in reality doesn’t happen too often, but to play for your town’s main football club is an honour and a realistic aim which can lead to playing football at a good level.

Horsham Youth have been running football squads for the last ten years consecutively and have won many honours with many different ages groups.

The Youth section won Child of Sussex award in 2014 which was a great achievement for all the volunteers who give their time to young people in our town.

We feel HDC has overlooked how the Horsham FC new football ground would have inspired young people with all abilities to engage together and grow not just as young footballers but as people and learn life skills.

The new ground wasn’t just about football it was about giving the Horsham District a facility to be proud of which all ages could use and enjoy and wouldn’t have cost the tax payer anything.

We want to grow and give more opportunities to young people within the district but the result last week has put these plans on the back burner as Horsham District Council does not provide the premises to the play the level we need to develop the town’s up and coming talent.

Due to not having a ground Horsham Youth under 18s are playing at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre which is great that they have somewhere to play but it’s not a home and with HDC winding down the centre eventually the squad will have nowhere to play as they play at a high level of youth football (The Ryman Youth League) and there is nowhere in the town with the facilities they need where they can go.

As youth secretary for over 17 years, of which ten years at Horsham FC, when I left the Horsham District Council Chamber after the meeting I managed to hold back my disappointment and sadness in front of the youth lads who had turned up to support the application.

But it was evident that the result had squashed all our hopes and dreams, HDC have enormously let down the young people of the Horsham District.

ANNIE RABY

Horsham Youth Secretary, Gorings Mead, Horsham