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Botham's mum opposes Sports Zone plan
THE mother of cricket legend Sir Ian Botham has joined the growing group of opponents upset about the planned £20-million Sports Zone project being earmarked for the Yeovil Recreation Ground.
Supporters of the Save Yeovil Rec campaign are pictured in the town centre collecting signatures for a petition opposing the planned Sports Zone at Yeovil Recreation Ground.
The Save Yeovil Rec campaign group has launched a petition against the Sports Zone initiative and so far more than 1,000 people have signed up, including over 100 teenagers who are worried about the proposed loss of their only free space in the area.
Ashley Strelling, spokesman for the Save Yeovil Rec group, said that during their recent awareness campaign in the town centre there were queues of people' eager to sign the petition.
"We believe this milestone in the numbers wanting to support us is just the start and should send a firm message to South Somerset District Council that Yeovil Rec is the wrong location for the Sports Zone," he said.
Support has also come from the family of Sir Ian Botham who nurtured his cricket skills as a schoolboy in Yeovil before going onto greatness with Somerset and England.
Sir Ian's mother Marie said: "Ian would regularly go over to Yeovil Rec as a lad and put one stump in the ground and continually bowl a ball at it."
And she added: "Without this freedom it is unlikely his techniques and talents would have flourished in the way that they did."
The Save Yeovil Rec campaign group cite this as a prime example of how elite sports men and women flourish when this type of free green open space is available to all.
They said: "As a direct result of Yeovil Rec one of our most famous sportsmen developed into one of the greatest cricketers of all time and we should preserve this - otherwise these future opportunities will be lost forever."
The Save Yeovil Rec campaign is urging as many people as possible to show their support by attending a meeting at Elim Pentecostal Church in Southville, Yeovil, tonight (Thursday) at 7.30pm.
The district council, who has come up with the Sports Zone project as part of the Yeovil Vision initiative, are currently carrying out a large public consultation exercise to find out what people think of the scheme.