Martin Dowey’s Column - About time the council played ball

Tom Ratcliffe runs in a try in front of a vast Silver Royd crowd
Tom Ratcliffe runs in a try in front of a vast Silver Royd crowd

It came as something as a shock to me when my son James turned his back on football and began his career as a junior at Scarborough RUFC last weekend.

It was a stunning experience when I took him up to Silver Royd for his first training session, in what I felt were the early hours of Sunday morning, because there were so many youngsters playing the game and so many coaches willing to help.

I have said before about the immaculate facilities, that hopefully my lad will be able to turn out on in the future. Since the death of the McCain Stadium Silver Royd is one of few sporting arenas that the people of Scarborough can be proud of - though evidently some are not.

The club are fighting an ongoing battle against the noise debacle and the fact that a tannoy system can’t be used at the ground.

I used to live on Coldyhill Lane, I can assure you that the rumbling lorries that fly past will be a tad louder than the blast of an 1980s classic on the wind or talk of a half-time raffle.

Another group of people also don’t seem to have any pride in Scarborough’s top sporting venue, namely the council. Surely one of the north of England’s best facilities should be given the backing by the town it sits on the edge of?

Alas no, but having spoken to a number of sporting figureheads in Scarborough, that seems commonplace.

If you click on the webpage of any seaside town council, within one movement you can find a sports section. Good luck on the Scarborough version.

There are so many youngsters playing sport in this town, but the avenues for them seem to be filled with red lights or roadworks.

I currently look on with a degree of resignation, having made the trip down the A165 to the neighbouring town of Bridlington every other weekend to watch Scarborough Athletic ply their trade. Bridlington having a football ground and a rugby ground with floodlights.

Who knows, in a couple of years my view may be a little more rose-tinted; Scarborough Rugby Club may be able to run a junior festival without officials heading home with sore throats.

Scarborough Athletic and Scarborough Town may be playing in an all-singing all-dancing stadium. Until then I will just sit here and wait.