Calls for investment into waterlogged pitches after weeks of cancelled games

Becca, 11, has been playing football for just over a year but recently she's had little opportunity to sharpen her skills.

Parents and children in Gorebridge are calling for more investment in their local football pitches following a spate of cancelled practice and games due to waterlogged fields.

Following weeks of rain, the Goreglen football fields have turned wet and muddy due to poor drainage, making it unsafe for the young football teams who train there.

Becca Laidlaw, 11, has been playing football for just over a year but recently she’s had little opportunity to sharpen her skills.

Becca said: “It’s quite frustrating because everyday you just can’t play and you can’t do anything and if you try and come down and play with some of your friends it’s just really watery and you can’t do anything and you just have to walk home.”

Becca’s dad, Grant Laidlaw said it’s disappointing to see his daughter being let down by cancelled games and practice time and time again.

He said: “It’s frustrating for her and it’s not nice having to deal with that and trying to explain to her why other places in the local area have got the facilities and we’re left with this sort of thing. It’s such a shame.”

Under 8s coach Cerys Lennie said she fears the local teams are being left stuck in the mud.

A petition was launched calling on Midlothian council to slide into action. STV News

“I think not giving them the chance to develop puts them behind some of the other girls in their area, because they’re going out to places like Bonnyrigg and Dalkeith.

“They’re going up against players that have had training for weeks and weeks on end and they’ve had nothing,” Cerys said.

Sarah Murray, mum of twin daughters, Sophie and Lucie, has launched a petition calling on MIdlothian council to tackle the issue following weeks of cancelled practice.

She said: “When it rains heavily, which obviously it has at the moment, the water is not going anywhere, there’s no drainage so there’s nowhere for it to go so it sits for ages and then of course that’s why we don’t get the games.

“Of course we know at this time of year we’re always going to get this kind of weather but because it’s not draining away, that’s where we’re having issues. So I just want something so the girls can go out and play their football.”

A Midlothian Council spokesman said: “There have been six occasions since October 2023 when one or more of the Gorebridge pitches at Gore Glen and Birkenside have been deemed to be unplayable because of weather, two of these were because they were frozen. Clubs are credited if games are called off.

“Following a report on the council’s outdoor football facilities published last year, the council is working with the local Newbyres Community Trust and stakeholders to help them source funding and develop plans to improve existing facilities at Newbyres Park, home to the local community club, Arniston Rangers.”

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