New sporting strategy in Dacorum after ‘lack of funds’

University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire

Sport bosses have criticised the council and government’s lack of funding as they announce a newly formed network.

Dacorum Sports Network (DSN), who represent the interests of local community clubs, say that they have had to modify their structure.

Andy Criddle, vice chair of DSN, said over the last two or three years it has been “more and more” difficult to find funding.

He said: “Dacorum Borough Council is notorious for putting sport at the bottom of their agenda.

“And getting funding from the council has become very difficult these days.”

Howard Wells OBE, who is the former CEO of UK Sport has taken over as chairman.

Mr Criddle says that as part of a government incentive sport networks across the country had been well funded in their first year. But said many communities were left “high and dry” by the scheme.

DSN have announced that they will taking on a more focused role to concentrate on providing a link between local community clubs, and governmental organisations.

Mr Criddle says that to be more cost effective DSN will no longer be running events and seminars for Herts Sports Partnership.

DSN have also decided that their current website will be closed because of a lack of demand and the “time and money” it requires.

They said: “It is clear that most clubs have their own sites and the people can access many other sources of information about local sport.”

However DSN say they maintain a database of clubs through a “information site.”

Mr Criddle added: “We have recruited a team much more strategically focused.

“And they can monitor what’s important and lobby for community sport voices to be heard.”

Steve Day, founder of Leisure facilities are not for profit, on Facebook, said: “It would be a great idea if Dacorum Borough Council put some of the £6m they are taking out of the leisure contract back into the community on things like Dacorum Sports Network.”

Dacorum Council was contacted but was not available for comment.