Bankers' loose change could solve this one!

Col-sport Alex Hurrell no pic unless file pic>THEY'RE called North Walsham Hockey Club - but they train and hold their home matches in Cromer.

Col-sport Alex Hurrell no pic unless file pic>

THEY'RE called North Walsham Hockey Club - but they train and hold their home matches in Cromer.

Why? Because their home town hasn't got an all-weather pitch.


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North Walsham Sports Centre manager Mike Brooks is having to turn away would-be customers who want to book slots for activities.

Why? Because the centre's not big enough to accommodate demand.

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One of the great hopes when London secured the 2012 Olympics was that it would encourage the nation to get involved in sport.

NHS Norfolk spends �13.3m a year treating conditions caused by our couch-potato lifestyles.

Well folk in this part of north Norfolk are obviously already raring to go - but the funds aren't there to help them.

It seems to me that an awful lot of cash which could have been used to improve, or provide, basic facilities in areas like ours is being hurled down the bottomless pit which is the Olympics budget.

The latest estimate for building the main stadium alone has nearly doubled to �547m while the total cost of staging the games is expected to be about �9.3bn - and rising.

At this rate we'll be fighting over the coat button which drops out of the national piggy bank when the government shakes it upside down to find something - anything - for sport in the rest of the country.

Last time Britain hosted the Olympics, in 1948, we were also broke in the aftermath of war. And on that occasion we sensibly cut our coat according to our cloth. There was no Olympic village so the 4,000 athletes stayed in schools, nurses' hostels and RAF camps - and had to bring their own towels.

I'm not suggesting quite that style of budget-class Olympics, but a few billions-worth less extravagance wouldn't come amiss.

Meanwhile our hockey and football players need a paltry �600,000 for an all-weather pitch in North Walsham.

Perhaps the government could shake one of those disgraced bankers upside down and see what falls out of their silk-lined suit pockets. I'm sure they have that sort of sum about them in loose change.

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