Gordon MP urges locals to ‘get behind’ Sports Centre
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MP for Gordon, Richard Thomson, has praised the ambitions of the Ellon Meadows Sports Centre and has urged local people to get behind the facility on a visit to meet staff and management.
Mr Thomson met with centre manager Kevin Riddell to discuss plans for the centre, which operates as a self-funded charity and is therefore independent of Live Life Aberdeenshire - the organisation which delivers sports and cultural services on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council.
Since its opening in 1992, the Meadows has played a key role in sports development in the town, housing several sporting bodies who came together to form the Meadows Sports Trust.
Speaking following his visit, Mr Thomson said:“The Meadows is a fantastic facility which even in these difficult times is doing a great job to provide sporting and leisure facilities for Ellon and the surrounding area.
“It was good to see how the centre is working to provide a safe environment for sports right now.
"Ellon is really fortunate to have a facility of this standard.
“The management team in place has strong ideas on how the centre might evolve and continue to serve people in the Ellon area.
"I’m keen to offer whatever support I can as the local MP to help promote the centre and to get more people coming through its doors to take advantage of what it has to offer.”
Centre manager Kevin Riddell added: “The Sports Centre in Ellon known as the Meadows Sports Centre is a self-funded charity and, like other similar charities, has suffered significantly since being forced to close due to the ongoing pandemic and the subsequent impact of no income since that time.
"The charity is very much in existence for the community of Ellon and the surrounding area and provides a variety of both indoor and outdoor sporting activities for all ages and all abilities.
"The sports centre is unique in that we offer grass football and rugby pitches, a 2G Astro pitch, an athletics area, a four court game’s hall, squash courts and a gymnasium."
He stressed: "There are no like centres in the immediate area which offer these sports in one location, however, I have to stress we need the support of the community to survive through these difficult times.
"The charity has received fantastic support through the years, however, these are very unprecedented times and survival is paramount and is currently the main priority.
"For Ellon to lose this facility would be a tragedy for the town and would most definitely have a significant negative impact on a large part of the community who regularly use and rely on the facilities.
"I totally appreciate many people may be apprehensive about returning to, or commencing, sporting activities, however, I can provide reassurance that a number of measures have taken place since opening our doors again to ensure the premises is a safe environment for all.
"I invite and appeal to the community of Ellon and the surrounding area, including the business community, to come and see what is on offer in order to support the charity and the valuable asset that Ellon currently has.”