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Leys clubs unite to bid for sports base
GROUPS around Blackbird Leys have joined the campaign to use an abandoned clubhouse on the estate.
Last week, two Leys sports clubs told the Oxford Mail they hoped the empty building could be the answer to their prayers for a new home.
The Blackbird Leys Boxing Club and Independent Working Class Association (IWCA) Athletics Club discovered the building off Grenoble Road.
After seeing the article, other organisations started to get in touch, saying they too had been trying to rent the clubhouse and land.
Ian Fieldwick from Greater Leys Youth Football Club said: “We tried to use the land about two years ago.”
He said he had contacted Magdalen College, which he believed owned the land, but to no avail.
Mr Fieldwick said concerns had been raised about the possibility of travellers moving on to the site.
Resident Andy Bone also said he had tried to use the land four years ago to run sports clubs for children and disabled adults.
He said: “I wanted to use the clubhouse as a multi sports centre, as a haven for people to go.
“It’s common sense really, the land isn’t being used.
“It is perfect for groups like this and I’d like to see it in use.”
Greater Leys resident John Turner said: “We live on the mobile homes near there. It would be nice if someone did take it over.
“We have been here eight years and it was used to play football on years ago, but it hasn’t been used for years.
“The grass is waist-high now so it would be good to see it back to how it was.”
Another resident, who did not leave his name, said: “I used to cut the grass there.
“There used to be two football pitches so it is such a waste that nothing is being done with it.
“It would be nice to see something done.”
IWCA coach Stuart Craft said he had now contacted Magdalen College, which he also believes own the land, but had not yet received a reply.
No one from Magdalen College was available to comment.