‘Save our wee Club’

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‘SAVE our Club - that was the call from members of Portrush Youths who attended Cloonavin last Tuesday night in a bid to encourage councillors to back them in their plight to train at their Parker Avenue base.

Back in September, Coleraine Borough Council told the youth football club, who have almost 100 kids on their books, that they would no longer be able to train at Parker Avenue.

The Council cited a ‘borough wide policy’ which prevented teams from training on grass pitches in the borough that were used for Coleraine and District League games.

Since then, the Club have been fighting to retain training at their Portrush base.

On Tuesday night, coaches, parents and children connected with the youth set up made the short journey to Cloonavin to ask councillors for backing.

Several meetings have taken place between Council chiefs and Club members.

One solution, to provide two buses to transport the children to Rugby Avenue to train, was rejected by Portrush Youths.

Club spokesperson, Jim Blee told The Coleraine Times: “We are here to make our case heard.

“We hope that by coming to Cloonavin tonight some councillors will sit up and listen.

“One solution Coleraine Borough Council put forward was to transport the children to Coleraine - but we just found that to be unbelievable. The amount of money that would waste - basically that would be two buses and two drivers for 30 weeks of the year. It would cost thousands.”

Jim said that the Club had explored other options, including splitting training nights, however he said: “Children, and indeed coaches have busy lives - they don’t just play football, they have swimming, karate, boys brigade, girl guides - and it’s difficult to get a night that suits everyone.

Coleraine Borough Council will meet tonight (Tuesday) behind closed doors to discuss the issue with representatives from Portrush Youths in a bid to resolve the issue.

BY Nichola Forgrave.