CARDIGAN Town Council say every effort should be made to ensure predominantly female sports such as hockey and netball can continue to be played in town.

They have added their voice to a chorus of protest against Ceredigion County Council’s decision to replace the Cardigan astroturf with a 3G surface which Clwb Hoci Emlyn claim will spell the end of hockey in the Teifi Valley.

Members have now agreed to seek funding for an additional new 2G surface should plans for a 3G pitch indeed go ahead.

“A 2G surface is not suitable for wheelchair sport or hockey and is only good for predominantly male sports such as football and rugby,” Cllr Philippa Noble, one of seven new Welsh Liberal Democrats recently voted onto the authority, told colleagues.

“I think it’s really important that all our kids are given the chance to get off their computers and take part in healthy exercise at a time when this country is facing a big problem with childhood obesity.

“We have just been discussing the issue of reduced bus services so travel to other sports pitches other than Cardigan would obviously be an additional problem.

“I am not against 3G – I just think we need to find a way to retain a 2G surface as well.”

Her views were reinforced by Cllr Nick Bolton who agreed that sport and recreation had to be made available to all areas of society.

“We live in a world of inclusion so we cannot simply exclude the minority,” he added.

Council clerk Eleri Maskell observed that ‘the knock-on effects would be huge’ if neighbouring Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi were to lose its hockey pitch.

However, Cllr John Adams-Lewis said the current 2G surface was nearing the end of its natural life and Ceredigion County Council were justified in accepting funding to replace it with 3G.

“The county council have cleared this with Hockey Wales who are happy for this to go ahead,” he added.

“It’s not far to go from Newcastle Emlyn to Crymych where there is another hockey pitch.

“Around 2,000 children use that pitch to play football or rugby twice a week and if the council do not replace this surface there will not be a pitch there at all.”