Letter from Sheffield Students' Unions: Closure of Ponds Forge 'devastating'
It is devastating news for both University Students’ Unions in Sheffield that the closure of Ponds Forge International Sports Centre will continue indefinitely.
The ‘mothballing’ of such an important sports venue will not only be damaging to users’ mental and physical wellbeing and the wider Sheffield economy, but also have a tremendously negative impact on student sport and physical activity for a generation.
Ponds Forge is imperative to the survival of aquatic sports in Sheffield and the UK at large. As a centre it has produced 21 Olympians & Paralympians as well as hundreds of national talent athletes, and its ambitious member clubs will struggle to survive if the indefinite closure is maintained.
It is our understanding that a comprehensive proposal has been drawn up by membership stakeholders that would allow aspects of the centre to open in October, enabling clubs and some student groups to use the facility.
Both University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Students’ Unions would strongly urge Sheffield City Trust to consider this proposal, bearing in mind the catastrophic impacts of Ponds Forge’s prolonged closure on users’ mental and physical wellbeing and the wider Sheffield economy.
Matt Graves - Sheffield SU Sports OfficerHannah Prestwich - Sheffield Hallam SU Wellbeing, Sport & Physical Activity OfficerBeth Eyre - Sheffield SU PresidentAndrew Adegbola - Sheffield Hallam SU President