The independent London newspaper

Barnard Park seven-a-side pitch will be way too small

29 September, 2017

Plans to revamp Barnard Park

• MY mum printed out the flyer that she said the Friends of Barnard Park have made about their plans to reduce the size of the large sports pitch at Barnard Park (to a small seven-a-side cage) and make more leafy gardens.

I play on Barnard Park twice a week with about 100 other kids. We can’t use a seven-a-side pitch. It’s way too small. And in the winter we can’t play on grass – it gets ruined really quickly.

So I spoke at the full council meeting back in June. And I asked the council not to go through with plans to take away my pitch. The council refused. (Don’t these adults realise that what they are trying to do is wrong?)

But my mum says that the government has now asked the council into the headmaster’s office to explain themselves. Because the government agrees with me that taking away my sports pitch is wrong.

My mum says that the government doesn’t do this very often, but that they are standing up for young people and for what’s right.

Anyway, how chuffed was I! In their flyer the Friends of Barnard Park say that they are up against “powerful football interests”, that I have “derailed” their plans. I have never been described as “powerful” so that’s really cool. I’m only a kid.

I think this flyer is just trying to undermine the headmaster. The flyers say we want to make Barnard Park a “destination” sports ground. That’s just not right. My friends and I all walk to the park (from the Cally Road and other places in Islington). We don’t have anywhere else to play.

But my mum tells me that they are trying to imply something else, something “sinister”. That’s just not right. In football, we call playing that way as being offside.

My mum says that the Friends of Barnard Park are trying to find people to support their plans in those avenues around the park.

But it’s all a bit weird. My dad says that the sports pitch has been there for over “50 years”. So these people must have known that there was a sports field there when they bought their houses. I mean, it’s pretty obviously there.

If they just resurface the existing pitch, it would be a lot better. We could even play other sports there, stop playing computer games and get out of the house.

I always tell my friends that they should come and play, but they say they don’t want to hurt themselves on the gravel.

I would like to ask the Friends of Barnard Park the same question I asked the council at the town hall meeting a few months back: “When was the last time you played football?”

JACK SCRAFTON, aged nine



Share this story

Post a comment