Millions spent on Olympic legacy could cost golf club its future, says members

Chairman of Leaside golf club, David Roche, fears the course could be closed

Chairman of Leaside golf club, David Roche, fears the course could be closed

First published in News by

Millions spent on the Olympic legacy could lead to a long standing golf course closing down.

Members of Leaside Golf course are incensed by the current review which could lead to its closure and claim that money has been wasted on ‘elitist’ sports.

Based in the Lee Valley complex on Meridian Way, Enfield, the course is run by Lee Valley Regional Parks Authority (LVRPA) which looks after several of the venues used in 2012 London Olympics.

The authority has redeveloped the velopark, tennis and hockey centre, both at the Olympic park, and spent millions on the design of the white water rafting centre in Waltham Cross, much to the anger of the golf club.

With more than half of the members over 60, David Roche, who has been chairman since 2011, believes the authority has neglected the older generation and favoured elitist sports.

He said: “The authority is taking ageism to a whole new level and has deprived everyday people who have retired the chance to take part in a sport that they love and can afford.

“They have poured so much money into sports that attract crowds but not enough actual participants. This is a beautiful, picturesque club that is used by people from all over the world and of all ages.”

Mr Roche claims the club made a loss of £80,000 but feels this debt could be “wiped out” if a clubhouse was built on the site.

He said: “The main reason for the loss is the lack of facilities here. People love the course but they cannot get a simple cup of coffee or a bacon roll and if we did have a club house, there would be a lot of societies up here using it.

“This debt would be wiped out, no doubt about it.”

Now an Olympic sport, the club believes that the LVRPA must invest in facilities otherwise it would be contradicting its ‘sports for all’ tagline.

Mr Roche added: “This is an Olympic sport and they are supposed to be paying into those sports. This adds another reason why the club must remain open.

“This golf club is the epitome of the Lee Valley and the Olympic ideal of ‘sports for all’ but it seems that they have totally disregarded this.”

Member of the club Derek Coombs said: “We have had terrible weather but there is also a distinct lack of facilities for members to even get a drink. I play here twice a week and it would be a struggle to go anywhere else.”

Bill Moran, senior venues manager at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, said: “Lee Valley Golf Course is run by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, and there is a review into the golf course’s future but nothing has yet been decided.

“Lee Valley Golf Course will continue to operate under the current arrangements throughout this summer and autumn and the review will be completed by autumn 2014.”

The club has started a petition and so far in ten days, received more than 780 signatures to help save the club.

Comments (1)

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8:22am Tue 1 Jul 14

dapproche says...

The article has one error in it, which is that the club has not made a loss of £80,000.00, the club's finances are very sound due to good management. The loss reported was made by the LVRPA, who have subsidized the course to approximately that amount, this due to the reasons outlined within the article.
The article has one error in it, which is that the club has not made a loss of £80,000.00, the club's finances are very sound due to good management. The loss reported was made by the LVRPA, who have subsidized the course to approximately that amount, this due to the reasons outlined within the article. dapproche
  • Score: 1

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