Help Splott Albion Protect Splott Park from scramblers

Splott Albion is the largest grassroots football club in the Splott & Tremorfa area of Cardiff and have been established for over 50 years, but their pitch is being blighted by vandalism, mainly from illegal off-road bikers trashing the pitch.

But these guys and gals don’t sit on their laurels and accept the destruction. They have a plan to protect their pitch, which they have maintained and brought back to luscious green condition in the past few years, and they need your help!

They have launched a fundraiser to raise enough money to secure the large main pitch against the destructive behaviour whilst still allowing access to the wider public.

They plan to be erect a fence around the pitch with access points for the public at either end. There will be locked gates for emergency service vehicles as well as maintenance, as there already is now.

They need £5,000 and have raised £1,700 with some awesome community support, and are asking for your help to reach their target.

Inksplott spoke to Gareth Hawke, Splott Albion Treasurer, to find out more…

Gareth, what is the impact on the players immediately after the pitch is damaged?  Does it prevent you playing?

“When the pitch has been damaged in the past, it has been left unusable for competitive football due to tire tread marks in the grass. This has resulted in us forfeiting fixtures or playing at a neutral venue at an additional cost to hire the pitch.”

Has the vandalism been reported to the police? Are you working with them in any way to tackle the problem?

“We do have a very good relationship with the local PCSO’s but this latest incident wasn’t report as nobody actually witnessed it taking place that we know of. In the past we have reported issues with motorbikes in the park but unfortunately due to the wide entry points, escape is very easy when the police do arrive.”

What will the fence be made out of and how high will the fence be?

“The quote we’ve had is a metal fence which is roughly 6-7 feet tall”

How easy will it be for members of the public to gain access to the pitch?  What kind of access points will be at both ends?

“The council advised we need provisions for public access, namely an entrance and exit. We will be placing these at either end of the pitch. Pedestrian access will be unrestricted as these gates will be left unlocked. There will also be a locked gate for vehicle access for lawnmowers, council vehicles and in the worst case scenario, emergency service vehicles in case of football injury.”

Would you like to thank anybody in particular for donations so far?

“We’ve been blown away by the level of support from the whole community. We want to thank everyone for donating but special thanks for two local companies – Bad Wolf TV studios who are based in Ocean Park and Plumbase Cardiff who are based in St Catherines Park in Tremorfa. They have made large donations which we will be recognizing with advertisement boards once the fencing is erected.”

Special mention also goes to Nisa on Carlisle Street, who have been awesome help to us over the last couple of years, sponsoring a kit and donating easter eggs to donate to our kids too.

How else can the community support you?

“Please continue sharing our post and spreading awareness how important the park is to the area and please donate if you can.”

Gareth told Inksplott:

“We’re lucky to be based in a very friendly, supportive and generous community. We’ve had incredible support over the last few years and has continued with this fundraiser. All of our volunteer coaches and committee are based in the area so we pride ourselves on being a community club. We’ve developed the pitch since 2015 including improving the playing service and installing barriers. This is not only a benefit to us but the whole community including dog walkers, people using the area for exercise and groups gathering for a casual game. We’d hate to see this part of the park lost due to the actions of a minority. With the backing of the community the children currently playing in our youth teams have the pathway to continue playing to adulthood in our men’s and ladies teams if they chose to do so.”

If you would like to support Splott Albion in protecting the Splott Park pitch from further vandalism, you can make a donation here.

Here is the information from the funding page:

Splott Albion are the largest grassroots football club in the Splott & Tremorfa area of Cardiff and have been established for over 50 years. We have a mens team who play in Cardiff & District Div 1 and a ladies team who play in the third highest tier of the Welsh leagues. We also have over 100 boys and girls in our youth teams who will hopefully progress to our adult teams in the near future. We are looking for help to raise £5,000 to help secure our main pitch against vandalism.

The area at Splott Park is widely used by our football sides, dog walkers and the wider community (before lockdown anyway!). Unfortunately the park is also prone to mindless vandalism, especially by motorbikes. We installed barriers around the pitch in 2017 to help stop this but unfortunately it hasn’t stopped the damage.

We are looking to secure the large main pitch against this whilst still allowing access to the wider public. We will be erecting a fence around the pitch with access points for the public at either end. There will be locked gates for emergency service vehicles as well as maintenance, as there already is now.

The club has spent thousands of pounds on improving and maintaining this area since we returned to Splott Park in 2014. With the help of Pete Davies and Growing Concerns the pitch is widely considered one of the best in South Wales and regularly receives great feedback from visiting clubs, the local public as well as league officials. We have held high profile Cardiff cup finals as well as receiving great praise in a Wales Online article.

We are immensely proud of the area we live in and these improvements will go one step further to preserving the facilities for all of the public to enjoy. We are hugely grateful for your support.