A POLITICIAN who watched Usk Town FC’s home game on Saturday has called on the Welsh Government to invest in more all-weather pitches for rural clubs.

Conservative South East Wales Senedd member Laura Anne Jones posted: “Great to watch Usk Town AFC play yesterday on their home turf – a close game! (2-3) – and enjoy a bike ride with my family around Usk.

“So important that investments are made by Welsh Government into our lower league levels of football and other sports, alongside other bodies such as FAW.

“Sporting facilities have been left to rot over the last two and a half decades.

“We can all see 3/4G all-weather pitches starting to come about in our urban areas, but rural areas across Wales are often left out.

“It is time that the Labour Government in Wales started ploughing money into easily accessible community sporting facilities, particularly in rural areas – that are often left out – and started thinking about the positive knock-on effect more active people would have on our NHS, as well as helping to find our future sporting stars!”

The MS added: “More pitches are being built with our new schools, but even though they are meant to be “community schools”, in reality they’re not.

“They are not being opened after-school hours, like they are meant to; or they are, and they are full to capacity in their pitch use.

“When the weather is bad, games and training for a variety of sports are often called off, with a vast majority of these being junior level sports.

“Or, in order to attempt to play some matches through the winter months, players and families have to travel miles and miles to do, at great cost, which punishes those from low-income families the most.

“The Governments in other parts of the UK, have cottoned on to the many benefits of this sort of all-weather investment. Sadly, Welsh Labour have not.

“I am hoping that they will read the report to be released soon from our cross-party group (CPG) on sport in the Senedd, of which I am Chairman, and take heed of the findings.”

Usk Town AFC replied: “Thank you for your support Laura Anne Jones MS, couldn’t agree with you more – an all-weather pitch would help not only us, but the other sporting clubs in our area hugely. Whatever we as a club can do to help support this we will do.”