University of Sheffield slam youths climbing security fences to play football in lockdown

The University of Sheffield has responded after trespassers were photographed flouting lockdown rules by playing football on its football pitches.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 3:14 pm

Glyn Watson shared this photo showing more than 20 people gathered on pitches at the university’s Goodwin Sports Centre beside Crookes Valley Park, yesterday.

He said he passed the site daily and there were always people playing football in contravention of the lockdown restrictions, leading him to question security at the venue.

Sports facilities are currently closed due to the lockdown but outdoor venues, including football pitches, will be allowed to reopen from Monday, March 29.

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Trespassers flouting lockdown rules by gathering to play football at the University of Sheffield's Goodwin Sports Centre (pic: Glyn Watson)
Trespassers flouting lockdown rules by gathering to play football at the University of Sheffield's Goodwin Sports Centre (pic: Glyn Watson)

Responding to the photo, a spokesman for the university said: “In line with Government rules all of our sports facilities have been closed throughout lockdown, including the outdoor pitches at Goodwin Sports Centre.

"Unfortunately, despite the gates being securely locked, we have had instances of people climbing the security fences to access the pitches.

“Our security teams have been responding to all reports of misuse and have been carrying out active patrols during lockdown to monitor the area and prevent the pitches from being used.

“We would ask that people do not attempt to access the pitches, which will reopen for bookings via the Sports Sheffield website from 29 March when outdoor organised sport is permissible under the Government's roadmap.”

From Monday, the Government’s stay at home order will end, with people instead being asked to stay local, and outdoor sports facilities including football pitches and tennis and basketball courts will be allowed to reopen.