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Open: trampoline park that upset footballers

Controversial changes at sports centre follow six-month battle amid claims 5-a-side footballers were forced to make way for ‘novelty’

19 January, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Councillor Janet Burgess with children at the new trampoline park

A CONTROVERSIAL trampoline park will open tomorrow (Saturday) after a fierce six-month battle by footballers to preserve the centre’s indoor court space.

The new trampoline park, in the main sports hall at the Sobell Centre in Holloway, was opposed by 5-a-side footballers who said they were being turfed out to make way for a “novelty”. But the Town Hall argued the trampolines would bring in more children to the centre, especially girls, and would encourage people in the borough to keep fit.

While half of the courts have been converted into a bouncy park, some of the footballers have been allowed to keep playing on the remaining courts.

John Barber, an accountant whose team have been playing at the centre for 40 years, said: “They’ve only given us 15 hours and only half are at reasonable times. Some groups have not been able to play inside again. Some teams have had to disband. It’s really sad, really.”

At peak hours over-16s will be charged £10.50 to play on the trampolines and £7.95 during off-peak hours.

Dozens of schoolchildren were able to try out the new park this week. Holly McLoughlin, aged five, who goes to Hargrave Park School, said: “My favourite is the giant trampolines because I jumped really high.”

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s deputy leader and executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “These facilities promise to increase the fun and choice of exercise for everyone in Islington and further afield, which can only be good news as we all think about how to stay healthy this year.”

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