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Monday, 22 January 2024 11:31

Please Support the Bid by LIARFC to Retain Hazelwood Centre

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The London Irish Amateur Rugby Football Club (LIARFC) and Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust (Brentford Sports Trust) have submitted a joint letter of Intent to the Administrators of London Irish Holdings (LIH) setting out their intention to purchase the Hazelwood site and place it in a Community Owned Trust for the benefit of future generations. The letter has been received positively by both the Administrator and DCMS (Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) / Sport England, and they are in the process of organising some direct talks with them to progress their bid.

The LIARFC bid is very much about preserving Hazelwood for amateur sports and community use. The thriving mini rugby section for both boys and girls is renowned throughout the southeast of England and beyond. In addition, the most recent facility for community use, parkrun, is positive, welcoming and inclusive. There is no time limit and no one finishes last. (parkrun is a free, community event where you can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate. parkrun is 5k and takes place every Saturday morning. junior parkrun is 2k, dedicated to 4-14 year olds and their families, every Sunday morning).

The future of the Hazelwood Centre has been discussed at our Committee and we unanimously support LIARFC's bid.

We are aware of a competing bid from a football club with ambitions for promotion and which may require exclusive use of the site; and which may have little or no benefit accruing for the local community.

Comments from our readers would be most welcome.


  • Comment Link Margaret Stanford Tuesday, 30 January 2024 14:34 posted by Margaret Stanford

    I support the above plan.
    Sport for all needs to be maintained

  • Comment Link Alan Pascoe Thursday, 25 January 2024 17:00 posted by Alan Pascoe

    I entirely support this plan – it’s vital to keep Hazelwood for the Community, as well as for rugby and football.

  • Comment Link John Maxen Tuesday, 23 January 2024 16:16 posted by John Maxen

    I would very like to echo previous comments and very much support the proposal for the Letter of Intent. I was at the forefront of the team that established parkrun in 2017 (we had our first event on St Patrick's Day 2018) and with the enthusiastic support of LI, the entire startup process was made easier. It has grown to be a hugely successful event held every Saturday morning at 9am and anywhere up to 130 residents and visitors gather to run, jog or walk the 5km course to be followed by socialising in the club cafeteria. It is a great way to start the weekend and many new friends are made. LIARFC & BST deserve every success in their campaign to maintain this site for the future benefit of the community.

  • Comment Link John and Valerie Brandvik Tuesday, 23 January 2024 12:38 posted by John and Valerie Brandvik

    We would like to add our wholehearted support for the Letter of Intent to buy the Hazelwood site and place it in a Community Owned Trust. We are enthusiastic followers of LIARFC and very much enjoy watching their games at Hazelwood, where there is a wonderful family atmosphere of friendliness and inclusivity for all visitors. They are a huge and unique asset to our neighbourhood, providing great opportunities for so many young people to develop their skills and self-confidence. In addition, they offer resources and encouragement to local people of all ages to live healthier, happier lives. We wish the bid every possible success.

  • Comment Link John Hirsh Tuesday, 23 January 2024 12:33 posted by John Hirsh

    The following comment was sent by email to LOSRA by a local resident and we reproduce it here: "Just a word of support for the London Irish bid. I live in adjacent Fairlawns. In 2021, a large section of a communally owned wall was brought down by high winds. We needed to all 32 houses come together to find a rebuild solution. London Irish gave us free use of a meeting room on a number of occasions to enable us all to come together and arrange the financing and rebuilding logistics. London Irish were really accommodating and without their support, agreement would have been far more difficult and protracted.
    In addition, any organisation that organises sport to hundreds of children every week is massively worthwhile. I have caught the bus on a few occasions with late teenagers on their way home from training in an evening. They have been really polite, given seats up to other passengers as the bus got busy and have behaved exactly the way you would wish from young men. Maybe some of this stemmed from the discipline of rugby training?"

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