A PASSIONATE plea has been made to the Horsham sporting community to fight for an athletics track at Broadbridge Heath.
Under a ‘preferred option’ being put forward for consultation by Horsham District Council, Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre would be knocked down and replaced with a scaled down version with no indoor or outdoor running track.
And with a public consultation on the proposals due to start on Saturday, one of the centre’s most prominent groups, Horsham Joggers, issued a plea for the entire sports community to get behind a bid to retain an athletics track.
HDC has put four options forward for the consultation, with the re-provision of a new leisure centre providing ‘essential’ facilities, which incorporates a new six rink indoor bowls facility and café, at an estimated cost of £4.85m its preferred choice.
And Tony Johnson, chairman of Horsham Joggers, wants sports groups across the district to express the strength of feeling.
“It would be putting Horsham in a worse situation than it is already,” he said. “It will leave Horsham below the national average of track provision – of around .011 of a lane per person. We meet the national average, to have the track taken away and drop below that would be galling for a town like Horsham.
“Even if you do not run, most people know someone who does, and most junior schools use the track for district sports events, I would urge everyone to make their feelings known. The public consultation is online and will not be difficult for people to take part in.”
And campaigners will be pushing for another choice, Option 7, which adds a running track to the scaled down leisure centre, costing around £6million.
Tony, who stressed that he understood the council’s financial constraints, added: “For anyone interested in leisure provision in Horsham, Option 7 is the minimum. I am hopeful that the Council will take notice.
“I would not like to think about Horsham without a running track. There will be a track, we have to convince everyone to shout about it.”
For all you need to know about the proposals and how if affects centre users, visit the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre Joint User Group website.