Coldstream Football Club takes action to protect children in nearby playpark

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Fears that a stray strike on goal from attacking players at a Berwickshire football ground could injure tots at a nearby playpark have led to an emergency defence plan.

A decision to erect netting behind a goal at Coldstream FC’s Home Park ground was prompted by an incident earlier this year in which a wayward football struck a child at the playpark, located just a few yards from the goal frame and separated by a 6ft wooden fence.

Club chairman David Lauder had expressed concerns about its close proximity of the playpark to the pitch when it was built in 2019.

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But after the recent ball-hitting incident it was decided to submit a planning application to Scottish Borders Council to erect netting behind the goal to ensure there was no repeat.

Coldstream Fooball Club's Home Park.Coldstream Fooball Club's Home Park.
Coldstream Fooball Club's Home Park.

The council has also agreed to cover the cost of what is referred to in the planning bid as a ‘ball stop feature’.

It’s a necessary action believes Mr Lauder, who fears that a ball struck with force could potentially cause brain damage to a very young child if it connected with a sensitive area of their head.

Fortunately, the youngster struck in the incident did not suffer any injuries or require hospital treatment.

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Mr Lauder said: “At the end of the pitch there is a playpark. We weren’t happy when it was built, we had raised the issue with the council but then covid came along and we thought we might as well forget it just now.

“But then we had an incident when a ball struck a kid in the playpark, so we notified the council about that and they gave us the money to go ahead and get this work done.

“The fence comes right up to the playpark, it’s directly behind the goal and the players shoot towards goal with some force as they are trying to score a goal and it can sail over the bar or past the post. The problem is the kids could be up a-height on one of the playpark structures where a ball could strike them.

“We wanted to do this work before something serious happened. If there’s a small kid with a head that isn’t fully developed, it could lead to brain damage. We would not want that on our conscience.”