Community Action

How you can Help Hailshamheader2

Hailsham is the largest town in Wealden, yet has some of the poorest outdoor sports facilities, for its size, in the country.

An analysis conducted by a sports consultant concluded that the deficit is already 15 acres of facilities, and with the expansion of housing, this is set to rise to 26 acres (based on suggested guidelines from sport England).

The problem is compounded by the fact that we have predominantly clay soil – so even the facilities we have, particularly football and rugby where disrupted by unplayable conditions for 4 months (junior football) and 3 months (rugby – senior and junior) in a season.

It is not much better for summer sports like cricket as we have 8 senior teams (between Hellingly and Hailsham) and only 2 pitches – so many ‘home games’ are currently played at Ninfield, Ashburnham and Ringmer.

Indoor facilities are limited as although the Hailsham Leisure centre caters for swimming and gym work – it does not cater for any other team sport, which has to take place at Hailsham Community College – with the timetable for use at capacity.

Why are we so badly served?

a)     There is no legal requirement on the local parish or district council to provide sports pitches.

b)     The district council is aware of the shortfall, even identifying the issue in its own reports, however, they have decided to spend money in other areas (e.g. The Leisure Centres – which apart from swimming, do not support any team sport).

c)     Legally – new build housing only have to provide a proportion of green space and allotments.

So if we, as a community do nothing, the council will continue to devote its time and resources in other areas, and our children will not have the opportunity to play sport locally – its as simple as that.

The good news is we now recognise the problem – and we have seen how other communities have started to improve things.

What we need:

a)     Proof that the community wants sports facilities for future generations to thrive and prosper.

b)     A workable plan to deliver a sustainable solution.

c)     Determination of the community to see it through.

We have started

One solution (in our opinion) is to create a sports park, that caters for multi-sports, and particularly has an Astroturf element.

This has been successfully adopted in a number of towns and is typically an edge of town facility.

To help achieve this, we need the council to support us by applying some of the money from developers to go to a specific multisport site.

One developer has agreed with this principle and have also identified a potential funding option from the FA, Sport England and themselves that could raise £1 million pounds.

This all sounds great, but it is very early and doesn’t include the provision of land.

There is a huge amount to do and we are winning support from many sections of the community, but we need more help/more pressure.

If you think you can help, please let us know, or even just pledge your support (there will no doubt be petitions/fund raising requirements in the future)

We will also update this website with progress so you can stay informed. See the documents section for further information and progress.

Thank you
Steve Wennington
Chairman – Hailsham Active


Update October 2015:

Here you can find a response from Tracey Crouch MP. Minister for Sport and Tourism.

Update January 2016:

 A medical statement on the proposed new sports park at Hailsham

Supporting Information:

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Report and Guidelines; Exercise the Miracle Cure (February 2015) (pdf download 2.19mb)


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