Bridge JFC could be without their club if land is sold

Date published: 15 March 2017

Bridge JFC have 27 football teams comprising 350 boys and girls from across the borough every week and if the land is sold under the council’s current proposals the club says all these children will lose their football club and the physical activity they take part in each week.

It has been reported this week that physical activity levels may start tailing off as early as the age of seven, rather than during adolescence as is widely believed, reveals a long-term study of British children, published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Barry Woodburn, Club Secretary, Bridge JFC said: “We provide five hours per week of sporting activity for every one of our 350 children, so 1,750 hours per week, 7,500 hours per month, or the best part of 90,000 hours each year, helping keep our children fit.

“As a club, we contribute to helping keep obesity and inactivity in our youth at bay.

“Take this provision away and the statistics relating to activity and wellbeing for the borough will plummet.

“The children also adopt the right lifestyle choices and eating the right foods, as well as all the positive life skills gained in team sports in particular around respect, hard work, responsibility and communication whilst making friends and having a great time along the way.

“All this delivered by around 100 unwaged, local volunteers on our long term leaseheld (with RMBC) 10 pitch and pavilion site at Bamford.

“The club relies on this Bamford site, there is nowhere else in the borough that, in our view, can accommodate us.

“We have 27 teams at our club, a lease on our site that still has 18 years to run, and we operate as a community club where we have spent almost 25 years developing links with the Borough of Rochdale in general, and with key townships covering Heywood, Middleton, and Bamford and Norden as well as every other corner of the Borough.

"Parents bring their children to our club as we are a club seen to offer fun, safe, organised and qualified sport with all the appropriate checks and balances in place to ensure that children are safe in our charge.

“To remove the site would literally kill off the club, which is seen as one of the strongest in the borough for its approach to sport in the borough and beyond.

“If our land is sold, then the club will fold.

“Literally thousands of youngsters have benefitted over 25 years from this volunteer run provision, and thousands more will if the club is allowed to continue at its present base.”

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