Bedford footballers kick off over claims of 'unsafe' fitness centre

Group's concern over how 'hazards' at Bunyan Centre
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The five-a-side football team - which meets every Wednesday - has got increasingly frustrated with the centre in Mile Road and has complained several times.

Harjinder Chana, from the team, said: "For the last few months, approximately four metres of dividing board has been missing. This separates the hall into two sections. It was replaced with a tennis court net and school-type benches which protrude about a foot into the hall, so definitely a trip hazard."

But when he complained to Fusion - which runs the centre - back in November, he was told all repairs would be carried out in January.

Temporary dividers were replaced with 'roadwork' barriersTemporary dividers were replaced with 'roadwork' barriers
Temporary dividers were replaced with 'roadwork' barriers

However, when a light fitting that smashed down was fixed last month, the temporary dividers were replaced with 'roadwork' barriers and the goals held down with dumbbells.

Mr Chana said: "We had to play with a cherry picker truck sat in the corner of the hall, it was parked in front of the fire exit doors too.

"I am flabbergasted that this place is allowed to stay open. It is far from safe. It's ridiculous."

He added: "There hasn't been an injury but we are very conscious that there could be. It does hinder play."

The goals held down with dumb bellsThe goals held down with dumb bells
The goals held down with dumb bells

The team have played at the Bunyan Centre for almost 10 years.

"We've been looking for somewhere else but it's a case of where else can we play. Everywhere is booked up. We are paying so much money here.

"It is a disgrace."

A spokesman for Fusion said: "We take the safety of all our members and visitors very seriously.

Temporary dividers were replaced with 'roadwork' barriersTemporary dividers were replaced with 'roadwork' barriers
Temporary dividers were replaced with 'roadwork' barriers

"There are anchor points in place for the goalposts in the sports hall. We are currently reviewing the dividing boards and intend to install suitable alternatives in due course.

"Meanwhile, there are interim measures in place and we believe the temporary barriers are safe."

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