Words: Sophie Witts and Billy Sexton.
The changing room facilities at Colney Lane are set to undergo a renovation, with a completion date set for January 2013.
The facilities are used by a large number of UEA sports clubs and have been heavily criticised by members, leading to talks between the Sportspark director, Phil Steele and UEA Estates. It is believed that the talks will result in both a short term and long term plan for the site which will resolve the current drainage problems.
Speaking to UEA:TV, a member of the Men’s Football team referred to the facilities at Colney Lane as “a shambles”, and indicated that the problems around the site arose from an amalgam of factors. “The changing rooms are never unlocked, the car park is never unlocked, the football nets have holes in them, the pitch has rabbit holes in it, the showers and toilets never work.”
A member of Women’s Lacrosse added: “They should really move the lock ups down here, it just makes sense really, rather than having to meet up at the University lock ups, drag everything down to Colney Lane, and then back again. It would just make more sense to move it here.”
Criticism has also arisen from teams playing away games who found the facilities at competing universities to be far superior to those provided at UEA.
A University spokesperson stated: “The University’s Colney Lane changing facilities are being upgraded with new hot and cold water systems. The work is scheduled for completion by the start of the spring term this January. Improvements to the decor are also being planned. We hope to keep disruption to a minimum during the installation of the new facilities.
“Reviews of the playing fields are ongoing and we are working with clubs to ensure pitches are ready for matches.”
Finance officer at the Union of UEA Students Joe Levell said: “Sport is a vital part of what the Union and University provide, so we’re delighted that this will be a great improvement for students.”
UEA TV spoke to a number of students about the condition of the facilities: