Letter from the Editor: Sport and leisure don’t always mix

Falkirk Herald editor-in-chief Colin Hume
Falkirk Herald editor-in-chief Colin Hume

I must admit I’m slightly torn over plans to site a huge soft play area in the Mariner Centre.

While I’m sure it will become a major attraction for locals and visitors alike, regular readers will know that I often hanker back to the good old days.

This time it’s the move away from sport in its truest form that I’m lamenting. To me sport and leisure are never comfortable bedfellows as, when they come together, there’s only going to be one winner - and it’s not sport.

To be fair to Falkirk Community Trust, it’s probably made the right call on this one. The refurbished pool and wave machine are already proving a major attraction and, with the Helix, Kelpies and Wheel luring more and more tourists, the need for some more indoor facilities should the heavens open is obvious.

There are also numerous other facilities dotted around the district where you can enjoy sporting activities such as squash, badminton and five-a-side football if that’s what you really want.

I suppose my real beef is with the array of ‘sports’ shops that we currently enjoy – or endure in my case.

When I was growing over the water in Fife, I was a frequent visitor to Browns Bazaar, a name which has sadly long since vanished from the High Street.

It was the days before mass-produced football strips and I’m not even sure if you could buy a pair of trainers, but if you wanted a new screw-in stud for your football boots, a single table tennis ball or even a referee’s whistle it was the place to go.

Try finding these on the shelves of our ‘sports’ shops now...