Lack of volunteers puts future of Sheringham Sports Association in doubt

The organisation that runs Sheringham Recreation Ground is on the brink of folding - threatening the future of a facility that is used by hundreds of people and a host of clubs.

On Monday, 16 people were at the pavilion at the Rec for an extraordinary general meeting, which was a call-to-arms to fill long-vacant roles on the Sheringham Sports Association committee.

But nobody volunteered to be secretary, vice-chairman or minutes secretary, leaving chairman Charles Sanders and treasurer Steve Hudson still going it alone in running the association.

Now Mr Sanders has given people until the annual meeting on April 2 to step forward - otherwise he and Mr Hudson could quit, leaving no-one in charge and the lease to transfer back to site owner North Norfolk District Council.

Mr Sanders, who has been chairman for five years, said: 'We desperately need people to help run the association. It is having an impact on the two of us, having to run it on our own for so long.

'There's been poor attendance by user groups at meetings and unless somebody else is prepared to help, we might not be able to continue.'

He said the turn-out at the EGM was 'reasonable', but 'nobody stepped forward'. He added: 'If nobody is forthcoming by the annual meeting on April 2, we will have to reconsider our positions.

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'User groups have got to realise that they have to do more. If everybody does a little bit, it will be fine. I hope the EGM got this point across to them.'

Mr Sanders said two years ago the association had extended its lease on the Rec for another 21 years, securing its future for the many football, cricket and tennis clubs that used it - including more than 200 children who played for Sheringham's youth football teams.

He said: 'It would be a crying shame if Sheringham was to lose this facility, but if it transferred back to the district council, who could say what would happen?'

Mr Sanders said added strain was placed on the association because the Rec was open to the public 'from dawn to dusk'. He was also disappointed that there had been no ban on dogs using the ground, which left sports clubs having to clear their pitches before matches.

He said: 'There's no money given to the association to pay for grass cutting, wear and tear and vandalism that comes from it being a public recreation ground.'

? Anyone interested in helping can contact Mr Sanders on 01263 823401 or 712800.