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Trampoline park means we’ll lose a lot of cash, say coaches

Green politician ‘absolutely disgusted’ by claim that staff will miss out on 100 hours of work

02 September, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Green councillor Caroline Russell with campaigners against the trampoline park, John Barber, left, and Barry Hill

SPORTS coaches at the Sobell Leisure Centre claim they will lose out on hundreds of hours of work during the installation of a controversial trampoline park while others have already lost their jobs.

A coach, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Tribune that Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), which runs the Hornsey Road centre in Holloway, has failed to deliver on a promise to find work at other sports centres while the sports hall is closed.

Green Party councillor Caroline Russell has said she is “absolutely disgusted” to hear that staff at the centre have lost out on work.

The hall at the council-owned centre shut on Tuesday, with work on transforming half the courts into a trampoline park expected to last until Wednesday.

“With the building work, all lessons are cancelled,” said the coach. “Basically, myself and another coach I’ve spoken to will lose around 100 hours of work next week. There’s nothing we can do but visit family. It’s a lot of money lost.”

The centre already offers trampoline gymnastics, a sport featured in the Olympics which trampoline parks cannot accommodate. The coach said trampoline gymnastics had been reduced at the centre in recent months, which has meant a loss of jobs for some coaches.

The sport’s governing body, British Gymnastics, does not allow trampoline gymnastic coaches to teach on trampoline parks, according to the coach.

“Chances are trampoline park supervisors won’t have to be qualified coaches, and trampoline coaches will keep getting less work,” the coach said.

Cllr Russell said: “The fact that Islington Labour is working with a company like GLL, treating people with no respect and no sense of proper workers’ rights is absolutely shocking.”

Five-a-side footballers who face the loss of ­sessions at the indoor courts have said that the trampoline park was decided without proper public consultation.

A spokesman for GLL said: “During the week of the sports hall closure, a small number of affected casual staff have been offered alternative hours at the Sobell in the ice rink, holiday programme, studios, outdoor pitches and soft play. This is in addition to hours offered at other centres.

“We have a good relationship with our staff, who were advised of these arrangements in person and with more than two weeks’ notice. Most have been fully understanding of the temporary situation.”

Health and wellbeing chief Councillor Janet Burgess said: “We have asked GLL to do everything they can to make sure casual staff who want work are offered alternative hours while work takes place at the Sobell Centre.”

The Town Hall has said that the trampoline park will draw in double the number of visitors to the centre, especially young girls, and the extra income will raise much-needed revenue amid government cuts.


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