Sadness at closure of Leeds Sports Centre

Leeds Sports Centre.
Leeds Sports Centre.

Leeds Sports Centre near Elland Road is set to be closed down today amid reports it has gone into administration.

The centre on Benyon Park Way, off Lowfields Road next to the M621, is advertised as ‘Leeds Premier indoor sports centre’ and boasts state-of-the-art 4G and 3G football pitches plus an indoor cricket pitch.

One Leeds Sports Centre worker, who didn’t want to be named, said yesterday that the centre employs up to 20 full and part-time staff, adding “We are closing tomorrow. Leeds Sports Centre as a business is closing.”

The employee said Leeds Sports Centre has been open for two-and-a-half years and was previously know as Soccer City.

He added “We will be open all day as usual and as soon as the last booking goes the doors will be shut.”

The Leeds Rhinos Foundation charity has run twice-weekly indoor tag and touch rugby at the centre for youngsters from schools across Leeds for the past eight years.

The foundation also runs weekly tag rugby sessions at the centre for around 50 adults.

Sam Horner, Leeds Rhinos Community Foundation development officer, said: “I have heard it is in administration. I heard on Monday night and I went in on Tuesday to run my last touch rugby and that was it.”

Mr Horner added: “I am quite devastated really. We have just booked a lot of men’s health programmes linked to the NHS and goal setting development programmes for young people.

“I am massively sad. It is a big loss to us as an organisation and also to the people of Leeds. Hopefully it will reopen.

Paul McGinley, of Wrenthorpe is a member of the Ovathrows indoor cricket team that won the Monday Evening Winter League at Leeds Sports Centre.

Mr McGinley said: “It’s a surprise to all of the team We only played last Monday and the indoor cricket has never been busier, there were two games being played simultaneously.

“Also, the five-a -side football was busy as well, so much so, it was difficult to get a parking space. People talk about the Olympic legacy, if something as popular as this is struggling, it’s no wonder fewer people are engaging with sporting activities.”