PCYC shown the door from New Norfolk Sports Centre

THE Derwent Valley Council will resume direct management of the New Norfolk Sports Centre from the PCYC, mayor Michelle Dracoulis announced in a Facebook post tonight. Apparently prompted by an earlier post from the Derwent Valley PCYC, Cr Dracoulis said last week’s council meeting had decided the Police and Community Youth Club’s lease on the facility was to come to an end.

In an updated post, Cr Dracoulis said the facility in Derwent Tce, New Norfolk, would continue to operate as a sports venue but youth drop-in services would be offered from an unspecified alternative location. “Council will be requesting expressions of interest to run a service from another site. Twenty-two organisations including PCYC have been approached to apply to run this service,” she said.

In its own post, the Derwent Valley PCYC said the council had decided not to continue with the PCYC’s contract and had asked them to be out of the building by November 27. “This is super-sad news for us but unfortunately out of our control,” the PCYC statement said. “We will continue to do our normal work in the surrounding schools.”

A later post by the New Norfolk Basketball Association offered more information than the mayor’s statement, saying that it would work with the council to facilitate use of the centre’s basketball court “in the way it was meant to be used.” The NNBA post noted: “The courts and rings are expensive equipment and if it is going to be around for many more generations we need to conserve the space for its intended use.”

The NNBA post continued: “The PCYC will be supported as will all community services – this was a huge space for staff to maintain. Let’s find the positives and know that the Derwent Valley Council is supporting the children in this community. This is a community sports centre and will be used as such for the many children and adults that play sport. If any parents are concerned or confused by the social media posts please reach out if we can be of any help and help ease any unknowns.”

In 2016 the management of the New Norfolk Sports Centre (known at that time as the Derwent Valley Sport and Recreation Centre) was contracted to the newly-formed Derwent Valley PCYC. An additional police officer was stationed at New Norfolk to assist and the group was also funded by the council to offer youth services from the centre. Three years later the Derwent Valley PCYC was being managed by the Bridgewater PCYC. Prior to being run as a PCYC the sport centre was managed by a committee of the Derwent Valley Council with a part-time manager.

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