Soroba on track to improve sports pitch

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Discussions to improve the sports field in Soroba have been ongoing for decades, but the campaign received a boost last week.

Stacey Holloway, a community sports hub officer with Live Argyll, attended this month’s Soroba residents’ meeting and offered to help the group to find funding routes.

She explained that there was going to be a get-together at the end of this month with all the sports hubs in Oban, where they will discuss future projects, including which pitches can be developed.

‘If you are not able to come, it is okay,’ she said. ‘We will then set up groups for the projects.

‘We are looking at the community as a whole and seeing where there are groups and pitches.’

Chairwoman of Soroba Community Centre Marri Malloy said: ‘This scheme has about 2,000 people in it, but there are no facilities. We don’t have a community centre or a dedicated sports facility for the kids.’

Secretary Nicola Wilson said if the project was able to secure funding, she would love to astro-turf the area and enclose it with a fence.

Vice-chairwoman Christine Smith said: ‘There is enough ground on there to have a football pitch and a MUGA [multi-use games area].

A MUGA is an all-weather surface, which allows various games and sports to be played.

The grass pitch in Soroba, which currently only has one set of goalposts up, has been neglected over the years.

The surface has a history of flooding and, without a barrier or netting behind the goals, there is nothing to stop the ball from flying into the car park adjacent to the pitch.

However, in order for the pitch to be a success, the group needs the support of the community.

It issued a plea earlier this year asking for residents to get involved.

‘Our focus now is tidying up the play area and to try to make it into a sports field,’ Ms Malloy said at the AGM in April.

‘If we can get the community park up and running, it might raise our profile and we might get support from the community. Considering the amount of houses we have here, we don’t know what we can do to get support.’