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Work to start on new Dorchester 3G pitch

West Dorset District Council has

announced that work is due to start on the installation of a new 3G football pitch at Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre in Dorchester. The centre's existing pitch is set to be resurfaced and filled with rubber crumbs rather than sand, while nets will allow the facility to be divided into three smaller pitches to increase booking opportunities. Dorchester Town Football Club has expressed an interest in using the new pitch, which is due to take around six weeks to complete and has been funded using a £124,400 grant from the Football Foundation.

New sports facilities for Yorkshire Dales

Reeth and District Community

Sports Club (RDCSC) has received the green light to move forward with plans to develop new sports facilities for rural communities in Yorkshire. Residents in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale are in line to benefit from a new floodlit multi-use games area, which can be used for basketball, netball, five-a-side football, hockey and tennis. A pavilion equipped with changing rooms and showers, storage areas and improvements to the existing playing surface also form part of the RDCSC scheme, which is set to cost more than £600,000.

Council eyes up leisure privatisation plans

Leisure centres in the Vale of

Glamorgan, South Wales, are set to be run by a private sector operator after the local authority agreed plans to seek a partnership agreement. The Vale of Glamorgan Council's cabinet has now backed proposals to transfer the operation of leisure centres in Barry, Cowbridge, Penarth and Llantwit Major.


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Water tests for 2012 Aquatics Centre

Zaha Hadid-designed Olympic venue remains on schedule for completion in 2011

By Pete Hayman

More than 10 million litres of water are being used to test the three concrete pools at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre, which remains on track for completion in 2011. Testing of the dive pool and

training pool has been completed, with the competi- tion pool due to be filled before work starts to seal and line the pools with 180,000 tiles. Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive David Higgins said: "The Aquatics Centre is on track for completion in mid-2011 and the sweeping roof that will form the 'Gateway to the Games' is now a fixture in the skyline alongside the Olympic Stadium.

The centre will be owned by Lee Valley Park Regional Authority

"Testing the pools is a major

milestone for the construction of the 2012 Aquatics Centre which in legacy will provide a range of swimming and diving facilities and become a new London landmark."

The Aquatics Centre, de-

signed by Zaha Hadid, will boast two 50m swimming pools with moveable floors, a diving pool and a dry diving area for use during the 2012 Games and community use in legacy mode.

General Election set to delay free-to-air decision

By Pete Hayman

Plans to overhaul a list of sporting events protected for broadcast on free-to-air television have been delayed after the government called the General Election on 6 May. The Department for Culture,

Media and Sport (DCMS) had set up an independent panel to review which sports should be added or removed from the

'crown jewels' list. Among recommendations expected to

The Ashes – will they be 'free'?

be decided on in June was the addition of home Ashes Test match cricket, England football

qualifiers and the Wimbledon tennis championships to the list. However, a DCMS spokesper-

son said there would be no deci- sions taken before May's election, with free-to-air proposals not included among legislation put in place ahead of the election campaigns. Some national governing

bodies are concerned that plans to alter the list of protected events could reduce the amount of funding if pay TV operators were unable to bid for events.

Funding boost for Telford community tennis proposals

Plans for a £2.2m community tennis centre in Telford have been handed a boost after the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) agreed to contribute towards the scheme. The sport's national governing body has agreed to grant Telford and Wrekin Council (TWC)

£370,000 towards construction costs, in addition to a £130,000 loan. Under the council's plans - the first phase of the new Oakengate Sports and Learning Commu-

nity, the new facility will boast eight courts - four indoor and four all-weather outdoor courts. TWC has also outlined its Tennis Development Plan, which will see the new centre work with schools.

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