Search

Kids lose out as Holloway sports centre closed for the Olympics

15:32 16 July 2012

The Sobell Centre

The Sobell Centre

Archant

Parents and children are horrified they can’t use their leisure centre for the whole of the Olympic games because volleyball teams have taken it over.

The Sobell Sports Centre, in Hornsey Road, Holloway, will be the training venue for volleyball teams during the games.

As a result, the main sports hall, junior gym and children’s play area are out of action for the public from now until August 20.

Some parents think that stopping grass-roots sports for children, including badminton, football and trampolining, for such a long time flies in the face of what the Olympics is all about.

Reserved

Jan van der Meule, 53, from nearby Mercer’s Road, regularly takes his two children to play badminton on a Sunday morning, but last week arrived to find the facilities reserved.

He said: “We go to the Sobell with a group of Islington families and the kids are at an age when badminton is just perfect for them.

“We came down this Sunday and couldn’t believe it was closed. It seems a very long time for it to be shut – four weeks before the games start. How much are they actually going to use it?

“There aren’t many sports facilities in Islington as it is – to close for seven weeks seems to defeat the very thing the Olympics is supposed to bring about – greater participation in exercise and physical activity.”

Cllr Janet Burgess, executive member for health and wellbeing at Islington Council, said: “We are thrilled the Sobell has been chosen as the Olympic Volleyball training venue and welcome the much-needed upgrade to the sports hall London 2012 has brought.

“Most of the centre remains open during our summer of sport. Residents can still use the gym, sauna, squash courts, exercise studios and ice rink.”

She said there were five other centres for members to use and free swimming for youngsters during the Games, as well as the improved five-a-side pitches in Highbury fields which are open to the public.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 16:10
Students of City of London Academy Islington celebrating their GCSE results

Pupils in Islington bettered the national and inner London average GSCE grades, new figures reveal.

Yesterday, 15:13
Soloman Nicholson

An epileptic Highbury man who has been undergoing chemotherapy has been missing since Monday.

Yesterday, 12:32
Bar at new DoubleTree Hilton in Pentonville Road

DoubleTree Hilton hotels have planted their 10,00th European suite in the heart of Islington.

Yesterday, 11:48
The teenager killed in the collision was from Islington, police say

Rising Arsenal and England star Kaylen Hinds led tributes to a “lovely” Islington teenager killed in a moped collision.

Most read news

Mobile phone footage could hold crucial evidence about what happened.

Scientists have found that cooking with olive oil is better than cooking with many of the seed oils.

Dozens of yellow flowers have been left in her honour at Hanwell clock tower as a mark of respect.

This feel-good clip is well worth a watch.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition