VOLUNTEERS at a popular cycling club in Shoreham are frustrated as they struggle to find a new venue following the closure of an activities centre on Thursday, Octoebr 29.
After the shock announcement in last week’s Herald that the Adur Outdoor Activities Centre in Brighton Road will close, clubs that use the facility have been in a race against time to find alternative venues to host their facilities.
Sheryl Tipton of VC Jubilee, the youth division of Brighton Excelsior cycling club, said the service will be very limited in what it can provide for its 50 members now the centre has closed.
The Worthing mum-of-two said: “We were based at the centre and our equipment is on the grounds. We have known it was closing for a few weeks, but we have contacted the county council and they said they cannot afford to take it on.”
The equipment includes various bicycles and items to assist in training, which have now been temporarily stored at a volunteer’s house, making it inaccessible for member.
“A lot of our new members and younger children don’t have their own bikes and that’s why we have them. We also have specialist bikes for track cycling and road cycling, but we’re obviously now not going to be able to do that,” said Mrs Tipton whose two sons are long-time members at the club.
“My own son has borrowed quite a few bikes over the years which has meant he could further his cycling and compete in track, road and cyclo cross events, all which require a certain type of bike for each discipline,” she added.
VC Jubilee will continue to run as usual for its avid riders that range from six to 18 years old, but without a central storage facility, the club will struggle to function.
Mrs Tipton said: “We won’t stop, but it’s going to make things fairly awkward.
“We have lots of competitive kids who are in leagues and they’re doing very well.”
Many members hail from Shoreham and Worthing, with others travelling in as far as Pulborough and Brighton.
Last week, the chairman of trustees for the centre, John Haffenden, told the Herald the trust was no longer able to continue due to lack of funds, partly caused by a rise in competition in the area.
The closure of the centre is not definite and meetings between the trust, Adur District Council (ADC) and WSCC will hopefully lead to a solution.
“We’re a bit at a loss of what to do,” added Mrs Tipton.
The club is now appealing for anyone who is able to help with storage on a temporary or more permanent bases. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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