Volunteer Sports Cleanup Crew ‘Locked Out’ of Maryhill by Glasgow Life

The city proclaims it wants to get everyone active in sports, yet when local people in Maryhill take it into their hands to try to improve neglected recreation facilities in their area, they are ‘locked out’ by Glasgow Life, the privatised remnants of Glasgow City Council’s Leisure and Recreation services. Follow the links below to support local initiative in Maryhill.
Community Cleanup Crew Threatened by Glasgow Life Official


 25th April, Maryhill, Glasgow

Glasgow Life official Lynne Colvin has sent a letter to a community cleanup crew in Maryhill threatening that any “unauthorised access or subsequent ‘work’ to either the running track or tennis courts will be reported to Strathclyde Police immediately.”

Local resident and community organiser Nick Durie said: “I was shocked when I saw this threatening letter. The idea that the police will be called in against parents and teachers for tidying up our local area beggars belief.”
Teacher Stephen Koepplinger, who received the letter, has repeatedly met with Glasgow Life and council officials to have the facilities opened for after-school activities, but they have refused to take action. The track and courts have sat unused ever since Glasgow Life erected a fence to keep out locals in the wake of a community cleanup effort last year.Stephen founded and runs the After School Activities Programme Scotland, a registered charity. He said: “Our teens need more to do. People say that our kids are engaging in anti-social behaviour, well, if we don’t give them things to do they’ll find things to do.”Organisers say they intend to go ahead with their planned cleanup at 3pm on Sunday.

* At present one teenage girl in ten fails to take part in any physical activity at all, even during peak months for sporting or other physical activity. Data shows that this inactivity in children and teenagers is a growing problem. http://www.sportscotland.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/EE0568EA-9616-4C50-84DB-87F8E88FA9C0/0/ActiveSchoolsNetworkYearthreeevaluation.pdf (page 29 onwards).

 * Where Stephen is from, in Aurora Ohio, they have the Ohio model for sports participation after school. http://www.asapscotland.org/Gallery/Ohio.ppt At present Glasgow take up of after school sports activities is around 2% of all available participation sessions. In Aurora Ohio takeup of available sports participation sessions is at 41%. Sport Scotland’s Active Schools programme urges greater take up of after school sports participation sessions as a means of tackling Scotland’s culture of low levels of physical activity. Attached is a photo of the running track in its current dilapidated state.

Stephen Koepplinger, teacher After School Activity Programme
07766 708 363 skoepplinger@gmail.com

Nick Durie, community organiser Power in Community
07798 903 944 nick.durie@googlemail.com

ASAP (After Schools Activities Programme) was founded by Stephen Koepplinger. He started the charity because from his perspective as a classroom teacher Scottish Teenagers need more to do after school. http://www.asapscotland.org/ 

Maryhill Locked Out (public action): https://www.facebook.com/events/282235085193006/ 

Letter from Lynn Colvin, Glasgow Life to Stephen Koepplinger, ASAP
From: “Colvin, Lynn” <Lynn.Colvin@glasgow.gov.uk>
Date: 25 April 2012 17:14:21 GMT+01:00
To: <stephen@asapscotland.org>
Subject: Maryhill locked out

Dear Mr Koepplinger

I am writing to advise you that I have been made aware of a Facebook page publicising an event titled ‘Maryhill Locked Out’. 

With regards to the Maryhill Park Running Track and Tennis Courts I can confirm that no permissions have been granted for the activities outlined on this page. The page indicates that “volunteers will set to work restoring the running track and tennis courts at 3.30pm”. Glasgow Life are responsible for the management of this track and tennis courts and have not authorised any such work. 

Glasgow Life have brought this matter to the attention of Strathclyde Police as we are concerned about potential damage to Glasgow City Council assets and any attempts at unauthorised access or subsequent ‘work’ to either the running track or tennis courts will be reported to Strathclyde Police immediately.

I understand that you are one of the organisers of this event and would wish to advise you of our position.

Glasgow Life have been in discussion with local clubs and Glasgow City Council regarding potential developments at these sites. If you have suggestions for these facilities I would recommend that you approach Glasgow Life on a formal basis to present your proposals. 


Lynne Colvin

Cluster Manager

Glasgow life

20 Trongate