No relief for soccer fans

2015-06-23 06:00

Insufficient ablution and changing room facilities at a sports field in Parkwood have sparked the ire of a local resident.

The man who lives opposite the Hoosain Parker Sports Field, says the lack of facilities is now affecting him as well.

He told People’s Post he has had to make his private bathroom available to spectators and players when they attend the Sunday soccer league matches played on the field.

“When matches are played here, I have to open my home to the people who frequent it. There are no toilet facilities for them,” he says.

He adds players also do not have changing rooms they can use to change their gear on match days.

“When people use my facilities at home I have to dock up money out of my own pocket to ensure there is enough toilet paper here.”

People’s Post has previously reported on the vandalism at the Hoosain Parker Sports Field which led to the destruction of the amenities building (“Centre trashed by vandals”, 23 September 2014; “Brazen vandals strike again”, 7 October 2014).

Criminals had ripped out underground cables and knocked down the building housed on the field, resulting in the City finally deciding to demolish the building.

Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, says there are no plans to build a new facility to replace the one that was demolished.

“The isolated ablution facility, in its entirety, incurred repeated vandalism which resulted in a state of disrepair that posed a health and safety risk to the public. Following demolition, the sport, recreation and amenities department does not have any plans to build new ablutions at this field,” Walker says, because the “situation has not changed”.

Walker adds: “It is worth noting that the Hoosain Parker Field is used on an informal basis by the Sunday soccer league.”

“It is unfortunate to note that the league has not taken the necessary care to assist with the protection of this ablution facility and help to ensure responsible usage. This was despite the City having repaired the ablutions on a number of occasions, and at great cost that amounted to huge sums of negative spending,” Walker elaborates.

“Prior to demolition, security staff were present to provide oversight and protection but the risks soon proved too high as the security staff were being continually threatened,” Walker says.

The repairs to the building date back as far as 2008 with more than R200 000 spent on repairs and the submission of insurance claims, Walker confirms.

However, she says, the department has another facility located next to the Hoosain Parker Field.

“The Parkwood Sports Ground is a formal facility that is shared with Fairmount Secondary School.

“It is accessed and used for formal sports in both the summer and winter for various sporting codes.”

Walker adds that should the informal soccer league want ablution facilities at Hoosain Parker Field, it would have to organise it.

“The responsibility for the provision of port-a-loos rests with the soccer league who would be able to procure a company that hires out toilets. Such a company would normally deliver, collect, service and insure the toilets,” Walker adds.

V

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