Stadium closure would be a tragedy for sport in the region

From: Dr Richard Anderson, Beverley Rise, Ilkley.

I AM writing to express my concern at the news that Sheffield Council is examining the possibility of closing the Don Valley Stadium.

We have heard a lot over the past few days about the legacy from the Olympics which will be lost; however, another aspect appears to have been completely lost in the media reporting, namely the future of the Sheffield Eagles rugby league team.

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2012 was an outstanding year for the Eagles on and off the pitch. A Grand Final win in September cemented the Eagles’ bid for a licence at the next round of Super League applications. The club also had their U19 team admitted to the Super League academy league, a major coup for South Yorkshire rugby league.

Yet the loss of the stadium threatens all the good work done by the club. The club are not able to play at Bramall Lane all season due to pitch re-seeding, whilst other facilities such as Woodbourn Road simply do not meet Super League requirements.

Would the council really be happy to see the club forced to move out of the city to Rotherham or Chesterfield? The closure of the Don Valley would represent a lost legacy for 
up-and-coming rugby league players in the city, many of whom have appeared in the Eagles’ first team squad.

My concern as a fan is that the potential loss of rugby league to the city could severely impact on the future existence of the Eagles. Having witnessed my club disappear in 1999 after the merger with Huddersfield, only a year after the Challenge Cup win, I do not wish to see lightning strike twice.

From: David Fletcher, The Oval, Harrogate.

SURELY the most depressing news so far in 2013 is the proposal to remove the athletics stadium in Sheffield on such a weak basis as running costs being too high. The whole nation was lifted by our British performances in the 2012 Olympics and is proud to honour the participants, whose training facilities are already limited.

The first requirement to continue producing talent is to provide and improve facilities, whatever the sport. The costs involved would easily be covered by prudent budgeting by the local authority, who have not been slow to improve their own facilities – salaries, cars, transport costs, fact-finding missions etc. These proposals are hypocritical and a direct insult to the sports bodies concerned.

A call to arms is needed to immediately counter the pathetic reasons given for closure of any facilities which already provide an established part of young people’s lives at modest costs.

From: M Dobson, Feversham Crescent, York.

CAN people please stop carping about Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins’ award as BBC Sports Personality of the Year?

Past winners have included 
Jim Laker, Bobby Moore, Ian Botham, Paul Gascoigne, Michael Owen, Ryan Giggs and Jonny Wilkinson, hardly individual sportsmen.

Even individual winners are backed by teams of coaches, medical experts, nutritionists... The clue’s in the title – “personality”.

From: Paul Morley, Long Preston, Skipton.

SO we finally have the Olympic Legacy that Lord Coe said would make the exorbitant cost of the games worth it – a TV programme where a lad who came third in the Olympics tries to teach a bunch of fifth rate “celebrities” how to fall into water gracefully.