Successive generations of Trustees have, of course, been improving the Sports Park’s facilities since the story began, back in the 1970s – all of which we tend to take for granted once they are there, but each one of which has only come about through the dedicated efforts of club members and Trustees who have given their time to nurture and improve one of the most impressive independent multi-sport centres in the country.
10 years of Sports Park Projects
We have just embarked on discussions with SODC and some of the National Governing Bodies about the future of the Sports Park, against a background of local housing growth and the need for more playing capacity. This has led us to review what has been achieved in recent times – and, in the last 10 years, since the AWP was resurfaced in 2008, we have delivered about £1m of improvements, of which 20% has been funded by ourselves (Trust and clubs), 40% from SODC grants and the rest from various other grant bodies.
Specifically, in the 2018/19 year we will have:
- Extended and refurbished the kitchen and main bar at a cost of £36.5k, thanks to a major financial contribution from Wren and the support of Coors. This has enabled us to increase the quantity and quality of after match food for our teams and for social events in the main hall, as well as a classier coffee and cake offering during weekday daytimes.
- Constructed an overflow car park with space for 50 cars, just over the bridge on the Jubilee Field, at a cost of £20.5k, helped by grants from SODC and the Town Council. This should take the pressure off the main car park, particularly at weekends.
- Upgraded our football facilities with improved stadium (to Hellenic League standard) and new training lights plus new fencing, pay kiosk and mower, at a total cost of £42k, funded by the Premier League, SODC and our Football Club.
- Carried out further improvements to the main Pavilion including automated mechanisms to the entrance doors (for heat retention and to help wheelchair and pushchair users), CCTV and personal alarm systems (for security ),
most of which would not have been possible without the considerable support of our local Councillors – Linda Atkins (OCC), Imran Lochan (SODC) and Elaine Hornsby (SODC).
John Atkins – Chairman of Board of Trustees – Feb 2019
Sports Park Projects – 2015
Since the 1970s, successive generations of Trustees have been improving the Sports Park’s facilities, so that Wallingford becomes more and more the place where everyone in South Oxfordshire (whether they are 8 or 80) wants to play their sport. Your present group of Trustees are no exception – in 2015 we have:
- rebuilt the Norris and Gat bars into one open and attractive Rugby Clubroom that can also be let commercially for daytime use for much needed income – cost £40k, funded by the Rugby Club but with contribution from the RFU
- surfaced and marked out the car park – cost £32k, funded by SODC, our neighbours Fugro and Oxfordshire County Council, with contribution from the Sports Trust.
- installed underground drainage to the Jubilee 1 rugby pitch, still to be seeded in the Spring – cost £70k, funded by Sport England with contribution from the Rugby Club
- cleaned out (most of) the Mill Brook to relieve the risk of flooding – SODC promoted and funded
Changing Rooms Project – 2016
This year we are about to start the biggest one of them all, a £400k project (funded by SODC, Wren, Sport England and the RFU with contributions from the Sports Trust, the Hockey Club and the Rugby Club) to extend and rebuild our changing block, to provide:
- 6 individual new changing rooms each with independent showers and toilets
- a medical/physio room with resident professional available at discounted rates to club members
- existing gents and extended ladies for social use plus disabled toilet and baby changing facilities off the main bar
- Work will start during week beginning 15th February, with initial activities focussed in the yard behind the Pavilion, and continue until the end of August. All normal sporting and social operations will be continued throughout, with temporary changing rooms and showers installed in the car park alongside the Pavilion to the end of the rugby season (8 weeks), plus toilets for the full duration of the contract. The last weekend the existing men’s changing rooms can be used will be 20th/21st February. Access to the Squash Club will be through the emergency door via the back yard.
Here are some ‘before’ images of the Men’s changing rooms and toilets….
John Atkins – Chairman of Board of Trustees – January 2016
Opening of the new Changing Rooms
The new changing rooms were formally opened by the Chairman of South Oxfordshire District Council on 16th September 2016, having been first used by Bunkfest campers some 10 days earlier, and have been in active service ever since.
As those who have been using them will know, we now have 6 independent rooms each with its own toilets and showers, 2 of which are ‘extra large’ and big enough for senior rugby. Since we no longer have a dedicated ladies changing area, the Saturday allocation of who goes where and when has to be worked out very carefully by Dave Greedy – so far, without any embarrassing moments.
We also now have, separate from the changing rooms, ‘social’ ladies, gents and disabled toilets and a physio room, which has been rented out to Revolution Sports who are there for you when you need them – and offer reduced rates for treatment to any members of our clubs.
There have been, thankfully, very few teething problems, our only real issue being the need to keep under control the inevitable increased costs for cleaning. So, club members – these are your facilities Please look after them.
Here are some ‘after’ images of the new changing rooms and toilets
Please see below the video of the changing rooms opening ceremony on 16th September 2016.
John Atkins – Chairman of Board of Trustees – December 2016