Good Start To Sports Hall Usage

The new Sports Hall is being “extremely well used” by the school in the day and the community at night.

That’s according to Penny Penn Howard, Community Services Director of the Council.

Penny says there were 19 badminton players who had to be “pushed out of the door” at the 10pm close recently and Councillor McCarthy said 20 participants had enjoyed indoor football with circuit training also a hit.

The setting up of a users consultative committee had been important because Penny feels that group has been able to find solutions to potential problems her team wouldn’t have thought of.

But the new facility was also seeing some snagging with “lumps of Polyfilla coming out of the walls.”

Penny said this was normal with a new building but youngsters have had accidents on the multi-use games area, and that needs looking into.

The IT systems that grant-funder, Sport England, insisted on aren’t working properly yet, either.

Data should be shared with the Council finance department to assess usage and Richard McCarthy added that the information it will provide when it works will be of value, showing who uses the sports hall and when and allowing managers to see where the gaps are.

Penny raised the issue of kids having accidents on the MUGA during school time, pointing out that it isn’t designed as a playground and “we need to look at its use.”

She told Councillors that when kids are “rushing about” they can slip over on the surface.

Headteacher of the Five Islands School, Bryce Wilby, told ScillyToday that some pupils have hurt themselves on the MUGA, but  pupils used to hurt themselves on the old playground too.

He wants to minimise this without stopping them from playing at all.  Bryce says the new MUGA has a synthetic surface and is sand dressed and that offers a more yielding and softer surface than the playground they had previously.

Bryce says the school is also ensuring that the MUGA is locked up before and after school as they do not supervise pupils out of hours.

Bryce says, “This is a tempting new space and pupils may have felt they could stay at school rather than go home so we have taken the precaution of locking it up after hours.”