Merthyr Town Sports Club?
Merthyr Town is a fan owned co-operative as everyone knows. We’re registered as a Community Sports Club in effect. We’ve visited this idea before in the pages of the fanzine but should we look to adopt a more continental approach to how we use Penydarren Park for the future? In essence we’re talking about becoming a sports club rather than solely concentrating on football. Clubs throughout Europe have a wider portfolio of activities available to their members and it’s true from Barcelona to Istanbul via Stockholm. The opportunities for members can be varied and eclectic and most would be out of our scope due to both capacity and facilities but should we be looking to attract other sports or hobbies to Penydarren Park to further enhance our position as the best community venue in the Valleys?
If we use Galatasaray as an example, we’re not expecting to provide motorsport, water polo or swimming along Park Terrace but could we not use the new facility (why don’t we have a name for the complete building yet?) to host other clubs or societies for more low maintenance activities? The advantage of having a CEO is that we now have the ability to reach out to other sports via the council’s community network. So which of the following could be hosted at our famous ground? Chess, bridge, pool and darts would seem to be perfect for the sponsor boxes or Webley’s. Pétanque is widely played in South Glamorgan and the pitch (or piste) can even form part of the car park (Brecon RFC has a great example of this) so another idea to attract a different demographic to Merthyr Town FC. We’ve already started this process with the well supported weekly walking-football sessions so can we with our increased staff infrastructure take this further? Could we incorporate a mobile skittles alley into Webley’s? Is there SportWales funding for such an item?
The main benefit for the sports listed so far is that they are for all ages and can involve family members through the generations. Have I missed any other activities? Dance clubs for example?
So is this a worthy strategy for our community football club? Could we evolve into that Community sports club that we embraced when we took on the responsibility of Merthyr Town FC?