'My son quit athletics due to a lack of facilities'

Mum of three, Hermila
Image caption,

Hermila says she is worried about a lack of opportunities for young people

  • Published

A woman from Nottingham says her son had to give up athletics because of a lack of facilities in their local area.

Hermila said teachers told her that her son, Kidues, was a promising runner and encouraged him to join an athletics club, but there was no running track close to where they live.

As part of the Your Voice Your Vote campaign, Hermila got in touch to tell us she was worried about a lack of opportunities for young people.

"It's very sad," Hermila said. "If they sit at home and watch TV, we can't blame them because I can't afford anything for them to do."

Image source, Google
Image caption,

Kidues and his twin brother started going to the Harvey Hadden Sports Village in 2018

The mum of three, from St Ann's, works as a cleaner and her husband is a machine operator.

She says both Kidues and his twin brother impressed teachers with their running abilities.

They started going to the Harvey Hadden Sports Village, on the other side of the city, in 2018, but were forced to give it up after one year because they could not afford the membership fees and travel costs.

She says the family have increasingly struggled with the cost of living in the years since.

"We can't afford so many things because of electricity bills," she said.

She added she had also stopped getting regular dental checks and eye tests.

Of the facilities in her family's area, Hermila says her children cannot access the nearby football pitch, or afford to go to the local leisure centre.

She added that there was also a sports hall nearby, but that needed to be booked at a cost, and the only free sporting facility was a small concrete basketball court.

'Worry for the future'

Kidues says he thinks he could have turned his running ability into a career.

"I was definitely enjoying it so I was quite sad to give it up," he said.

The 17-year-old says young people like him need more guidance and help from politicians.

"It's difficult to pinpoint what you're going to do in the future, so if you do get an opportunity like that, it's life-changing, because you could build a career and be very successful."

Kidues's sister, Hale, says young people are being "neglected" in the election campaign.

"There's a lot of blame on younger people, but realistically there are no opportunities given to them that they could go outside and do," she said.

The 18-year-old says she does not feel that any party is doing enough for people her age, and she is concerned about getting on the housing ladder.

"I see things on social media saying the younger generation never buy a house because of how expensive it is, and renting is expensive," she says.

"There hasn't been any help, so I do worry for the future."

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This closed on 4th July 2024.