Wishaw football team question council’s decision not to open changing rooms


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

Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers have 18 teams across various age groups, from aged five all the way up to an amateur side.

A number of teams play at Clyde Valley High School and club president, and the amateur team’s coach, Alex Richardson wants the council to open the changing rooms at the school to stop players having to get changed in cars.

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Alex told Lanarkshire Live: “We are being charged nearly £89 for use of the park, which is a great pitch.

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

“We have players getting changed in cars, playing in the rain and then not being able to get a shower and then having to get changed outside or in cars and then going away soaking.

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

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

Alex has taken the fight up with councilors and Wishaw MSP Clare Adamson.

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

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

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

“Another knock-on 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 are unable to do as both sides are unable to get a shower and are straight in the car and away home.

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

“All we are asking is that the local authority look after the welfare of the players and open the dressing rooms, as they have done at other facilities.”

Motherwell and Wishaw MSP, Ms Adamson, has called on the council to provide clarity on why some changing facilities are open to players while others are not.

She told us: “I have written to the local authority to clarify the rationale behind the changing facilities remaining shut.

“We are not through this pandemic and closed spaces undeniably increase virus transmission risk.

“But this must be balanced against player welfare and I fully understand the concerns around privacy.

“There may be a reason as to why the arrangements at Clyde Valley differ compared to other facilities across North Lanarkshire but it is important that any reasoning is outlined by the council.”

A NLC spokesman said: “We are unable to open all the changing facilities at present due to staffing issues.

“However, we are working hard to resolve this and will inform our user groups directly as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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