Funding cuts risk to Wakefield school sports?

Mike Rich. Retired teacher.Comment Room'w8734a929
Mike Rich. Retired teacher.Comment Room'w8734a929

A VOLUNTARY organisation that has encouraged the city’s young sports stars for almost 40 years could be at risk of funding cuts.

Wakefield Metropolitan District Schools’ Sports Federation could be facing an uncertain future if Wakefield Council cuts its funding.

The concerns come after a close call last year when the council almost had to cut all of the £7,500 worth of funding it gives each year.

Funding was eventually secured, but treasurer Mike Rich fears this may not happen again this year as cuts to voluntary services hit across the country.

The money helps pay for able bodied and disabled youngsters to compete at a regional and national level, and for an annual award ceremony.

Mr Rich, who has been on the committee for 35 years, said: “In Wakefield school sports competitions are extraordinarily successful, as a result of the sports federation and hard work by the teachers.

“Without us, the kids’ sport would continue within the school, but it puts a bigger strain onto individual sports teachers to find funding for competitive sport out of school. “

Mr Rich is calling for the council to continue funding the organisation to keep children interacting with pupils at other schools around the district.

Lisa Dodd, service director for sport and culture, said: “Wakefield Council has spent the last year working with the School Sports Federation to help them become self sufficient and will continue to do so as we value the work they do. Any future funding given will be done so on the basis of meeting set criteria which will be agreed between the council and the federation.”