A hockey team has hit out after being denied full access to the sport’s national stadium in Glasgow built for the Commonwealth Games.
Kelburne Hockey Club said the fact the centre is not fully operational is “scandalous”.
The Glasgow National Hockey Centre at Glasgow Green was opened in 2013 in time for the games held in the city a year later.
But it has yet to fully reopen since being used as a Covid testing centre during the pandemic in 2020.
Players of all ages are being denied access to the changing facilities, first aid rooms and cafe at the £5m venue, despite Scottish Hockey being a legal tenant of the facility until 2032.
Glasgow Life said funding issues are to blame and said it had been working with Scottish Hockey to support access for the national squads and to ensure clubs and schools can train and play matches on the pitch.
Kelburne officials say they are greeted by staff watching the game through a window but are not allowed to open the changing rooms, meaning they are forced to walk 100 yards to a football centre to get changed before and after matches.
A spokesperson for the Paisley-based club said: “It is the only public facility for hockey in Glasgow, a Commonwealth Games Legacy Centre, and one that is not being funded by Glasgow Life, Glasgow City Council and the [Scottish Government].
“How scandalous is it that? Glasgow Life, who claim to be a serious player and destination for International sporting events, can’t even open changing rooms at this centre as part of a cost-cutting exercise?
“To be greeted at the pitch side by staff watching your game through the window and not being allowed to open the changing rooms, is in the words of a past first minister, an utter disgrace.”
MSP Dr Sandesh Gulhane backed the pleas to have the centre reopened.
He said: “This great facility, one of the city’s 2014 Commonwealth Games venues, was not completed that long ago, in 2013 at a cost of £5m.
“But now there are concerns about its future viability. The site was leased to the NHS during the pandemic as a Covid testing centre, but it’s not fully reopened since the testing centre closed last year.
“Since September Glasgow Life, which is owned by the city of Glasgow to run its culture and sports facilities, has continued to rent pitches for training and competitive matches.
“But it hasn’t opened the changing facilities, the first aid rooms or cafe.
“This is despite the fact that Scottish Hockey’s governing body is a legal tenant of the facility until 2032. That seems strange, doesn’t it?
“Glasgow Life seem happy to take payment for booking but doesn’t seem keen on opening the full facility.
“Surely we want to encourage as many people as possible to participate in sports.”
Glasgow Life said in a statement: “The National Hockey Centre is one of many facilities across the country which haven’t been able to fully re-open following the pandemic due to funding.
“We have worked with Scottish Hockey to support access for their national squads and to ensure clubs and schools can train and play matches on the pitch whilst having access to nearby changing facilities.
“Glasgow Life has been articulating the need for national funding for national assets for several years, but Glasgow Life doesn’t have the money needed to reopen the stadium without reducing our offer or closing facilities elsewhere.
“We want to keep working with the governing body, SportScotland, the Scottish Government and other interested parties to find a solution and remain open to offers of support.”
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