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Doncaster leisure centre upgrade will ‘kill off’ badminton in town

Brian Keefe, badminton coach is angry that Adwick Leisure Centre plan to scrap Badminton. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Keefe MC 5

Brian Keefe, badminton coach is angry that Adwick Leisure Centre plan to scrap Badminton. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Keefe MC 5

Plans to upgrade a Doncaster leisure centre will kill off badminton in the town, it has been claimed.

A long-serving coach has said proposals to convert the main sports hall at Adwick Leisure Centre into a ten pin bowling alley and extended gym will spell the end for the popular racquet sport.

Brian Keefe, who has run junior coaching sessions at the centre since it opened in the 1970s, says the £2.8 million renovation work, which is due to get under way later this summer, will see provision shrink from seven courts to just one.

He said: “It would finish off badminton on that side of town for good if the plans go ahead as they are. I think it is an absolute disgrace and what’s worse is that people didn’t even know.”

However, Mr Keefe says that he has drawn up his own plans for the centre - and that altering the layout of the bowling alley would allow space for three badminton courts, which he says would be enough provision for the sport.

“We could cope with that as it would be sufficient,” he said. “But one court is no use to anyone.

“Its difficult enough to book one now and that’s with seven of them. The plans need changing.”

Michael Hart, chief executive of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, which runs Adwick said: “Our business plan is focused on increasing the size of our gym which includes building a mezzanine floor which would double the capacity.

“The consequence would be a reduction in dry sports provision at Adwick.

“The main hall is currently an underused area and research into the surrounding area identified a similar provision at local schools within a 10 minute drive time of the centre, which are also currently underutilised.

“Therefore while the provision at Adwick would reduce, there is dry sports provision, in particular badminton and squash close by and therefore the delivery of this activity in Doncaster would not be lost.”

 

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