A community sport hub (CSH) in Dundee is celebrating nearly a decade of providing opportunities for people to get active and take part in sport.
Craigie Community Sport Hub has earned praise from sportscotland for its work for the local community since its inception in 2011.
The CSH programme brings together sport clubs and community organisations to develop and grow sport at a local level. Funded by the National Lottery, the hub programme is central to sportscotland’s commitment to ensuring that everyone gets the best out of Scotland’s world-class sporting system.
Figures published by sportscotland show the number of CSHs has grown year on year since the programme was launched in 2011, with close to 160,000 people now a member of hubs across the country.
Solving community problems
Craigie CSH was one of the first hubs in the country and has gone from strength to strength since the programme’s inception. It was originally formed when two football clubs, Dundee United Sports Club and Morgan Academy FP’s came together with the local community to try to address some concerns residents had over the facilities the clubs were using.
As it approaches its second decade, the hub now manages five different facilities, which it has raised over £1m for. The hub run Craigie Community Sports Arena, including a 3G pitch which was built with help from the sportscotland Sport Facilities Fund, Craigie Community Sports Centre, the original Craigie Community Sports Hub and Discovery Amateur Boxing Club with four changing rooms at Monymusk Park.
In total the hub now has 12 changing rooms, four referee rooms, two social spaces and offers boxing, dance, rugby and football. The focus for this year is to make tennis opportunities available to the community.
As part of that plan Craigie CSH have donated £38,000 to Dundee City Council to install floodlights at Baxter Park Tennis Courts. Which will be open to the community shortly.
Steven Maloney, Chair of Craigie CSH, who has been involved with the hub since its beginning, explained that the hub’s goal has always been to provide something that the local community needed.
He said: “When we started there was a few residents who had issues with a lack of toilet facilities in the area and there were no car parking facilities, so there were issues on match days. There were real community issues, so we went about trying to solve them.
“We thought as the football clubs were two very large organisations in the area, we could do something about some of the concerns in the community. We were just trying to do our bit. It wasn’t about being selfish and thinking about our own clubs and what they needed, it was about what the community wanted.
“We couldn’t have envisaged that nine years later we would be where we are.
"But we’ve continued to identify what the community has needed and that has required us to grow, bit by bit, into what we are now.
"Every year we have a new project to look at, this year it is tennis. It’s thanks to the people we have on our committee really, they’re driven and enthusiastic. We’ve got some really good people and they put a massive amount of work in.”
Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said: “It’s brilliant to see the results of so much hard work at Craigie CSH over the years, it is paying dividends for the community and delivering plenty of sporting opportunities in Dundee.
“We will continue to work with our partners, including those in Dundee, to ensure that the CSH network delivers sporting opportunities of the highest standard as part of a Scotland where sport is a way of life.”
Alison MacKenzie, Community Sport Hub Officer at Leisure & Culture Dundee, said: “We are delighted to support the work of Craigie Community Sports Hub. It is great to see the growth of the hub and improved facilities in the community. This is testament to the hard work of volunteers at Craigie CSH."
“Leisure & Culture Dundee is committed to providing continued support for Community Sport Hubs across Dundee and developing sporting opportunities which meet the needs of local communities.”