CARDIGAN’S multi-sport astroturf is used daily by school pupils and without it the provision for physical education and sport - particularly for girls - is severely compromised.

That is the belief of Clwb Hoci Castell Newydd Emlyn who have hit back at a town councillor’s claims that alternative facilities can be found for hockey.

The row erupted after Ceredigion County Council revealed plans to instal a 3G surface at Cardigan as the 2G multi-sport pitch was at the end of its natural life.

The hockey club strongly oppose the move, claiming the proposals not only threatened hockey at club level, but secondary school hockey too.

Last month Cllr John Adams Lewis said greater numbers of footballers would benefit from a 3G pitch and suggested that hockey teams could play at Llandysul or Crymych instead.

However, the hockey club maintain the Llandysul pitch is fully booked and Crymych ‘close to capacity in terms of evening usage’.

“Cllr Adams-Lewis continued his argument against a 2G installation with his assumption that: ‘It’s not far to go from Newcastle Emlyn to Crymych where there is another hockey pitch’,” added a spokesperson.

“Newcastle Emlyn might be the name of the club, but its members come from across Ceredigion with five travelling from north of Aberaeron to train and play.

“Newcastle Emlyn failed to secure funding for an artificial pitch as Sports Wales stated that, with pitches in Llandysul and Cardigan, there was adequate provision in the area.

“The club was therefore based in Cardigan to offer a team sport for women, girls, men and boys at a location with optimum access, either on foot, by private or public transport.

“The situation in Cardigan has long outgrown the argument of one local hockey club losing its pitch.

“Background research has shown that the loss of multi-sport pitches to 3G is a UK-wide issue.”

However, publicity surrounding the controversial plan has resulted in a surge in hockey club membership and the setting up of Clwb Hoci Ieuenctid Aberteifi/ Cardigan Junior Hockey Club who train and play on Wednesday evenings.