SPORTS groups in the Drefach area have teamed up to take over the running of the Canolfan Carwyn Centre.
The centre, owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, was due to close at the end of the summer due to budget restraints. However, the two local county councillors, Aled Vaughan Owen and Darren Price, together with a number of sporting groups, came together to save the facility.
They formed Grwp Canolfan Carwyn and took out a lease to keep the centre open, running it themselves. Organisations include Gwendraeth squash club; Drefach, Bancffosfelen and Tumble Colts football teams; Pontyberem Rugby Club; Gorlas Community Council; Bobby’s Boxing Gym; and other members of the community.
Gorslas Community Council donated £1,000, and all other clubs committed to using the facility on a regular basis.
The organisation is currently looking for volunteers to help out in any way they can, including opening and closing, general maintenance, cleaning, booking and marketing.
The groups hope to extend the activities at the centre to include things such as gymnastics, concerts, children’s parties, and a range of other events. Cllr Vaughan Owen said: “We are appealing to the community to help us make a success of the Canolfan Carwyn Centre.
“We feel it is important to the area and although we understand the potential pitfalls we are confident with the right support we can secure its long-term future.
“In the words of the late, great Carwyn James, who the centre is named after, ‘Take a risk or two, make a few mistakes. As long as you are adventurers, I won’t mind.’
“With the energy from local sports teams and members of the community, the centre can be kept open with the potential not only to secure the future of certain sport and fitness opportunities in the community, but also to develop new initiatives that expand the services provided.”
The centre was one of a number of recreational assets offered for transfer or lease by Carmarthenshire County Council. To date, there has been interest shown in around 82% of sites available, with around half of these already being taken over by local organisations.
The county council’s executive board member for assets Cllr David Jenkins said: “This is another excellent example of a community working together to secure the future of a local facility.
“Well done to all those groups and individuals who have made this commitment, I wish them every success for the future.”