AFTER months of featuring on the front page, there has been little news on The Edge. But what has happened to the clubs who were turfed out when The Edge closed?
Swallows Trampoline Club have been hit hard by The Edge’s closure. As a temporary solution the club has been using The Petersfield School’s (TPS) facility to do one session a week – this is a serious reduction from the four to five sessions the club offered at The Edge. Brian Linton said use of the school is a “temporary stop gap”, it cannot be a permanent solution. Since The Edge closed the club has lost 100 members, four senior coaches, and three junior coaches.
Brian added: “The Edge used to be opportunity for all, and now it is only opportunity for some.”
Vic Eckstein from Dynamo Walking Football and the Over 50s MATES explained their club was supported by the town council because of the positive impact on physical and mental health. And while their situation is not as dire as Swallows, they are on “tenterhooks” waiting to hear news on The Edge.
The Southern All Stars Junior Roller Derby, like the Swallows, have struggled to find somewhere to train. Both those clubs need space, and for the Swallows height, to train – something The Edge had plenty of. John Davis who runs the roller derby club said they have lost members now that they are training at a venue in Guildford.
“There are only 12 junior roller derby teams in the country, and we are the only one in the county,” John said. “But now we’ve moved to Guildford that is too far for some. The Edge was the perfect place.”
Brian explained: “The lethargic nature of local authority decisions is crippling the local community.”
While a temporary 12 month lease is in the pipeline, the clubs are concerned they will be once again turfed out if a permanent solution cannot be found in time.
The clubs all agree on two points. One, they want to be back in The Edge. Two, they want to be involved in keeping it open.