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New All Weather Pitch Starts Run Of Improved Sports Facilities

1st September 2006

Photograph of New All Weather Pitch Starts Run Of Improved Sports Facilities

Sports facilities in Caithness are at last seeing a few strides forward as Highland Council's moves to improve matters finally begins to take shape just a the same time as community groups and a private benefactor have offered a large sum to a group in Halkirk.

The new all-weather pitch at Wick High school is completed and Mr Graham Nichols the Area Education, Culture & Sport Manager - Caithness will outline to the Wick High school board next week how the facilties can be used by the school and local community sports groups. East End Boys Club and Wick Academy football club are among groups showing a keen interest in the new facility.

The new pitch comes with a state of the art all weather surface that should allow play in most weather condition. The floodlights are very high and should be vandal proof. They have six towers with three lights on each and will give tremndous lighing on the long dark nights in Caithness.

Bookings for the new pitch will be made through Wick High school and it is hoped that the arrangements for this will be published shortly.

Over at Rosebank Park in Wick the final stages of relaying the tennis courts is about to begin. The courts have been relaid and a new hardd surfaced area has been cordoned off with heavy fencing to accomodate other games such as volleyball, netball or anything that requires a hard stand. This has been achieved by co-operation and funding received via UKAEA and the Pulteneytown People's Project in co-operation with the council.

In addition to the improvements to the tennis courts the bwling green nearby has been receing upgrades this year with new banking being installed. Now more work is to be undertaken tio make big improvements to the grere through a collaboration with St Fergus Bowling Club, Rosebank Bowling Club and the council to buy large quantities of fertilzer by co-operating to negotiate lower prices from suppliers. Also being looked at is the requirment for specialised machinery to carry out annual work on the green. Meantime St Fergus Bowling Club have offered to assist in impovement work and advice to ensure work begins this season to make the green in better condition for next years Triples competition.

In Thurso Mr Nichols the Area Education, Culture & Sport Manager - Caithness is also pleased with progress he has made to getting an upgrade to the Naver all weather pitch which has deteriorated in recent years. Funding has been found to a carry out not just repairs but rejuvination work to bring the pitch back up to an acceptable standard. Work on this is well progressed and in fact a contract is about to be let to have the work carried out.

Bill Fernie councillor for Wick West and Katrina MacNab councillor for Pulteneytown have also been making representations for some time about the changing facilities used by football teams at Bignold Park follwoing representation made by the commitee for Wick Academy football club who along with other teams use the facilties. The changing rooms have been reduced to a very poor condition following the removal of the ceilings which were found to contain asbestos a couple of years ago. Since then funding has not been available to carry out the work to replace the ceiling and in the meantime other deterioration has taken place. It is hoped to announce shortly that work on the ceilings and roof can be carried out.

Perhaps the biggest sports improvement on the horizon is the new centre for Halkirk where a multi-purpose centre is to be built following the generous offer of over one million pounds toward s the cost of an indoor facitly. The committee in Halkirk are advancing their plans for the building of the new centre.

Sports facilties in Caithness are on the up but there is still much to do to ensure that all young people take part in sporting activities for health and recreation.

The latest addition of the all weather pitch at Wick High school finally brings to fruition a project that has hung around over the last 10 years with hopes raised and then dashed. The new pitch looks great and shoould help improve the football coaching, training and playing in the county

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