Wishaw football team questions council’s decision not to open locker rooms

A Wishaw football team has questioned North Lanarkshire Council’s decision to continue not to open changing rooms at a local high school.

Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers have 18 teams in various age groups, from five-year-olds to an amateur team.

A number of teams play at Clyde Valley Secondary School and club chairman and amateur team coach Alex Richardson wants the council to open the school’s changing rooms to prevent players from getting change into car.

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Alex said Lanarkshire Live : “We are charged nearly £89 for use of the park which is a great location.

“I’ve asked the council for answers, but we don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

“We have players who change in cars, play in the rain and can’t shower, then have to change outside or in cars and then drive away soaking wet.

“For our amateur team, we have teams from places like Glasgow which is a nightmare.

“We also have young teams, including our girls’ academy, who are in the same situation.”

Alex took the fight with advisers Wishaw and MSP Clare Adamson.

He pointed out that other council facilities such as Ravenscraig and Wishaw Sports Center have their locker rooms open.

He added: “I find it bizarre that the council seems to be continuing this policy when places like Ravenscraig have open changing rooms.

“We are playing teams from across the west of Scotland such as Renfrew and Dumbarton and their dressing rooms are open.

“Another ripple effect for our amateur team is that we would normally offer hospitality to our opponents at our sponsors, the Clydesdale Bar in Overtown, which we cannot do as both parties cannot shower and are directly in the car and at home.

“The pitch itself at Clyde Valley is a fantastic surface and many other teams use it.

“All we ask is that the local authorities take care of the well-being of the players and open the changing rooms, as they have done in other facilities.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP, Ms Adamson, called on the board to explain why some locker rooms are open to players while others are not.

She tell us “I have written to the local authority to clarify why the changing rooms remain closed.

“We haven’t been through this pandemic and closed spaces definitely increase the risk of virus transmission.

“But that has to be weighed against the welfare of the players and I fully understand the concerns over privacy.

“There may be a reason why the arrangements at Clyde Valley differ from other facilities in North Lanarkshire, but it is important that any reasoning is set out by the council.”

An NLC spokesperson said: “We are unable to open all locker rooms at this time due to staffing issues.

“However, we are working hard to resolve this issue and will notify our user groups directly as soon as we are able to do so.”

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