The bosses of an athletics stadium have vowed to turn the lights back on – after parents had to use their car headlamps as makeshift floodlights so their children could train.
Mums and dads had to improvise when they turned up for a training session at the Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium on Monday night to find it in darkness.
Sheffield Hallam University, which manages the premises, had taken the decision to close the Woodbourn Road facility on Monday and Friday evenings this December and January due to low usage – but the message had failed to reach some of the athletes who turned up.
An online petition calling for the lights to be switched back on attracted more than 400 signatures and campaigners have now been granted their wish as university bosses vowed to press the switch.
Richard McGloin, director of commercial services, said: “We take our civic role extremely seriously and ensuring that the community can benefit from Sheffield Hallam’s outstanding facilities where possible has always been a priority for us. Therefore, when we can find a solution that works for everyone which doesn’t negatively impact the University we will.
“So after discussions with users training on a Monday evening we have been able to come up with a compromise. Apart from the Christmas period, the facility will be open until 7:30pm on Mondays. It will remain closed on a Friday until normal operating hours resume in February.”
Iain Smith, whose daughter is a cross country runner, previously said: “Where is our next Jessica Ennis-Hill going to come from if we cannot provide quality training facilities with open access?”
The stadium was taken over by the university in 2013 and underwent a £325,000 revamp.
It is home to Hallamshire Harriers and the City of Sheffield & Dearne Athletics Club, as well as being used by hundreds of university students and young people from across the city.