Fence to be put up after Splott football pitch vandalised

Splott Albion are fundraising to build the fence in Splott Park

A FENCE is to be erected after the football pitch in Splott park was vandalised.

The vandalism is suspected to have been caused by motorbikes, which have left tyre tracks and donut circles on the pitch.

The pitch is used by Splott Albion football team, who have started a GoFundMe to try and raise £5000 to have the fence built. £1000 has been raised so far.

The damage to the pitch. Photo credit: Gareth Hawke

Gareth Hawke, the treasurer of Splott Albion Football Club, said: “One of the committee members was walking through the park with their dog and noticed that a motorcycle or something had been used on the pitch and caused some serious damage, basically rendering the pitch unusable for the foreseeable future.

“I think the people doing it live in the area, it’s disappointing that people don’t respect where they live enough and cause this kind of damage.

“We’ve been using the pitch since 2015 and we had a few issues at the start where people were using the pitch for motorcycles and things like that so we did install metal barriers then to try and minimise it.”

However the club now thinks a six foot fence is needed. Mr Hawke said preparing the turf is likely to cost £1,000 and the fence will cost £5,000.

The tracks are suspected to have been caused by motorbikes

“We don’t have those kinds of fund as we’ve been closed as a club since March. All of our funds are based on registration fees from players and our club house which sells hot drinks and food, so with that being closed our income is close to zero,” said Mr Hawke.

This is why the club has started a GoFundMe. “Normally we’d like to fund these things ourselves, but this has forced our hand”.

The council can’t change the barriers around the entire park because of the need to allow wheelchair and pushchair access, so the club suggested the idea of a fence around the pitch.

Mr Hawke said: “The council is struggling with funding already because of Covid so we agreed to foot the bill.”

The club want to protect the pitch from damage like this happening again

Public access to the pitch by foot will still be available, but the club believes the fence will minimise the issue as much as possible.

“Everyone normally uses the pitch in normal times, the park’s one of the few remaining large green spaces we have left in Splott,” said Mr Hawke.

“It’s a deprived area of Cardiff, which is why we try to make our prices lower than other clubs. The kids are missing out on seeing their friends and socialising: for young kids it can be quite difficult explain why they need to stay in and not leave the house.

“We’re looking to protect the park against any further damage so it can start being used by everyone again.”

Splott Albion is the largest grassroots football club in the Splott and Tremorfa area. They have a men’s team who play in Cardiff & District Division 1 and a women’s team who play in the third highest tier of the Welsh leagues. They also have other 100 children playing in youth teams.

You can donate to the GoFundMe here.