PRSA: Challenge issued to ‘white elephant’ critics

Learners Finley, 5,, Reece, 8, Oliver, 4, Kevin, 7, and Oliver, 7 in the pool with instructor Andrea Dunn.
Learners Finley, 5,, Reece, 8, Oliver, 4, Kevin, 7, and Oliver, 7 in the pool with instructor Andrea Dunn.

The council and supporters of the Princess Royal Sports Arena have hit out at critics and challenged them to visit the facility to see the facts for themselves.

In last week’s Standard, former Boston borough councillor Anne Dorrian described the building as a ‘complete and utter white elephant’ and said she was appalled by the council’s latest proposed spend.

However,PE teacher and athletics coach Guy Bull, said: “Critics who say the PRSA is a white elephant need to come down here and see what’s happening and how well it’s used.”

He pointed to athletics training taking place on four days of the week, along with rugby and football - and cited the benefits against obesity.

He said a recent English Schools’ Athletic Association event was popular – attracting athletes from all over the country.

He said: “Visitors were amazed at the facilities available and our athletes certainly benefit from such facilities.”

The venue also holds the county championships and the schools cup competition.

The chairman of Boston Rugby Club, which has used the site for 13 years, said the facility had ‘allowed the club to grow in many ways’.

Geoff O’Neill said the mini and junior sections had 180 members ‘who enjoy healthy sport and learn the discipline and respect that is embedded in the ethos of rugby’.

He added: “This development simply would not have been possible without PRSA as our old clubhouse and changing facilities could never cope with this number of people.”

He added that the numbers grow even further during Sunday morning sessions.

He added that when teams visit, the club is often complimented on the quality of the facilities.

“The clubhouse is also a valuable community asset as we frequently host wedding receptions, christenings and birthday parties and we are now the Boston base for those who are blood donors,” he said

PRSA contract manager Marc Speirs said the centre was accredited to the highest standards and said it was hitting all participation, performance and customer satisfaction targets.

He said: “Our staff have been here years and have a great rapport with customers which keeps them coming back.”

He said 103,000 people came through the door in 2014 - up by six per cent on the previous year.

He promised that the arena’s initiatives and programmes are set to increase footfall and positivity, adding: “It is really important we have a building that is fit for purpose and that can be sustained into the future.”