Portsmouth's hockey team forced to train in Chichester because of a lack of suitable pitches in the city
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During a recent meeting of the Portsmouth City Council, Cosham councillor Matthew Atkins urged the administration to consider providing new sand-based Astro Turfs due to the recent closure of a university pitch in Langstone. Councillor Atkins also expressed concerns about the growing popularity of 3G pitches, which he believes is limiting the diversity of sports facilities in the city.
“I want to emphasise the need for the city to think for the future around the idea of diversity of provision of pitch facilities,” he said.
“Portsmouth Hockey Club is a thriving community that serves a diverse range of sportspeople – they run nearly 20 teams throughout the full age range.
“Portsmouth Hockey Club are only able currently to access Admiral Lord Nelson’s sand-based astro turf which is not sufficient on its own for their needs, they’re having to go to Chichester.
“I think it’s rather a shame for the Portsmouth Hockey Team and rather an indictment of Portsmouth and its provision that they’re having to travel to Chichester.”
Councillor Steve Pitt, the leader of the council, reassured members that the council will refresh its playing pitch strategy, which will evaluate demand and suggest funding requirements.
“A refresh of the playing pitch strategy and hockey, as will all sports, will be part of that to make sure that the outside court provision is appropriate for the level of use.
“I’ve been updated by Portsmouth Hockey Club to say they are managing to find a fair bit of the provision at Portsmouth Grammar School’s site at the moment.
“A new sand based astro turf for hockey was going to cost £650,000 so it’s a big investment.
“That’s why we are going to renew that playing pitch strategy to make sure that we do understand what the demand is and that we’re responding to it.”