The vision of a community sports hall for all in Ramsey came a step closer after a meeting of interested parties on Thursday.
Commissioner Richard Radcliffe said they were anxious for the new hall to cater for as many sporting interests as possible and to that end delegates from the worlds of cricket, hockey, rugby, cycling, badminton, tennis, archery, dancing, rowing and football attended the meeting in Ramsey town hall.
‘There was just about every sporting interest you could think of. The full spectrum, really,’ Mr Radcliffe said.
Moreover, he said the 70 or so attendees filling the hall to capacity also seemed to be broadly in agreement over what was required. ‘It was all positive and everyone seemed to be singing from the same hymn sheet,’ he added.
The proposed site for the new building is the north end of Ramsey rugby pitch and Mr Radcliffe said he hoped to be able to accommodate more diverse interests too, such as walking groups, dance and exercise groups and perhaps even a gymnasium, which the rugby club had asked for.
The hope is for a facility similar to the Tommy Clucas Memorial Hall at Peel AFC and Mr Radcliffe said they wanted to name it after former island footballer Jan McElroy who died last year.
Organisers are also hoping to involve disabled sports officer Zoe Carney in the project so it can be made as usable by as many people as possible.
‘We don’t want any single person or group to have ownership, because we want to ensure everyone has equal access,’ said Mr Radcliffe.
To that end, a trust – the Ramsey Sports Trust – is to oversee the project, then an impartial managament company will take over the running of the building.
The plan now is to cost up the project and a further meeting will be held in the near future to organise fundraising to meet the estimated cost of £420,000.
Mr Radcliffe said they would also be delighted to hear from any companies willing to become partners in the project.