Castle Rushen High School pupil Sam Clarke, who did work experience with us last week, shares his views.

Living in Port Erin, I have grown accustomed to the lack of activities available for young people (13- to 19-year-olds). Having grown up with parents who constantly took me and my brothers out on walks across the island makes the feeling of boredom hit especially hard.

In my eyes, there appears to be a complete lack of care to make spaces for young people to go to.

While it is unfair to say the south is void of activities it is clear the available facilities cater more to tourists and older clients rather than the youth of the island.

The most prominent leisure activities in Port Erin for example take the form of hiking tours, kayak and paddleboard rental and pubs.

Even if I, or any of my friends, were thinking of doing these activities, the steep prices drive away any younger customers thinking of using the available leisure facilities.

This proves to me that there is a clear gap in the market down south for facilities catered towards younger people as the diversity is shockingly low.

This alienates the younger generation of the south who are forced to look elsewhere, for example Douglas and Castletown for entertainment.

Even then the prices of buses and the events themselves stop younger people from going out.

I do understand that the island is famous for its beautiful scenery which does justify the number of leisure facilities aimed at exploring it but, again, the lack of diversity makes it seem like the government cares more about tourists rather than keeping its own youth happy.

A significant chunk of Port Erin’s population is aged between 10 and 19 being around 376 people (2021 census) with a further 160 young people in Port St Mary. It is a large group to not have facilities catered to them.

An obvious example for a facility needed down south is a bowling alley.

The only bowling alleys on the island are in Ramsey and the Fun Farm, which is a hassle to get to even with a car so why not start with that? Another facility I know my friends and I would use is a pool room.

There is a pool room close to Ronaldsway but a pool room in Port Erin would definitely be used especially on rainy days or during the winter as without these facilities there’s nothing to do other than stay indoors.

Places like these would rectify that. It’s not like it would be impossible for these places to be built either, there are plenty of disused buildings in Port Erin that could house such facilities.

The lack of activities also forces youths to hang around in parks or at bus stops. A large group of teenagers in a park or bus shelter has a bad stigma around it and for some creates a feeling of unease and an overall bad atmosphere.

Facilities like the ones previously mentioned would give younger people a space to relax rather than in a park making them happier and the overall atmosphere of the town calmer.

I hope the government sees the benefits of having places like these built to create a better living environment for everyone. There needs to be places for everyone to feel welcome and be able to go to.