Doncaster Dome: MP expresses concern after sports groups forced out for computer games exhibition

An MP has expressed concern over "barriers in the way of people trying to get more physically active" in Doncaster.
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The Dome is one of several leisure facilities in Doncaster run by Doncaster Culture & Leisure Trust (DCLT) on behalf of Doncaster Council.

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All four of the affected clubs The Free Press spoke to were struggling to find alternative venues.

Doncaster Dome.Doncaster Dome.
Doncaster Dome.

One of the groups - which holds inclusive netball sessions for women looking to get back into playing sport and exercising regularly - had been set up thanks to funding from the council's Get Moving Fund.

The money supports Doncaster's communities to be more “physically active, healthy and vibrant” to help address the city’s health problems.

Around a third of people in Doncaster are inactive, the local authority revealed last year, with activity levels among adults and children in the city below the national average.

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The health of Doncaster residents is generally worse than the England average, according to a 2019 report from Public Health England.

Other groups affected by the exhibition, which will be held from January until April, include pensioners and children.

Dame Rosie Winterton, Labour MP for Doncaster Central, said: “It is always concerning to hear of barriers in the way of people trying to get more physically active.

"I am currently chair of the Fairness and Wellbeing Commission and one of the areas we are looking at is how to increase access to physical activity to improve people’s wellbeing.”

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School sports halls have been suggested as alternative venues but they come with logistical issues.

Michael Hart, DCLT’s chief executive, said the organisation would work with affected bookings to try find alternative venues.

In a statement, he said: “Doncaster Dome has always offered a multi-purpose sports hall.

"This will be a fantastic exhibition and we are looking forward to welcoming schools, colleges, gamers, those with a love of technology and history and e-sports to the Dome in 2024. It is great that we can support both cultural and sporting activity in the borough and play our part in bringing more people from across the region to our fabulous city.”