The Ryder Rant
I must be the only person in Newport who doesn’t give a damn about the Ryder Cup in 2010 being in my hometown. I actually think Newportonians would be better off without it. It is sad to think that the city centre’s regenerations plans were only ignited by a golf tournament lasting 3 competitive days.
I find it hard to believe that it is amongst the world’s greatest sporting events, it is played between a country (USA) and a continent (Europe). This alienates 4 and a half of the worlds 6 populated continents! Great players such as Greg Norman, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els will never get the chance to play in it. It ranks alongside British Lions tours as a waste of time in my humble opinion.
We already host the Welsh Open every year in Newport and it seems to pass without the blink of an eyelid, the Celtic Manor being tucked away in a secluded corner of the city. Many visitors from the USA will simply visit Bristol and Cardiff, due to the ease of the M4. 12 miles is not a long way to drive when being used to travelling vast distances in the States. I hope Newport does well out of the event, I hope local businesses do well, but most of all I hope the money that is made is re-invested for the people that matter…..Newportonians!
This is not the case for the literally thousands of players competing in the Newport Astroturf league at NISV. These lads pour tens of thousands of pounds into the local coffers on a year round basis and are being treated like dirt. The council cannot be bothered to repair the floodlights at a measly fraction of the cost it spent on the free-to-use skate park next door. It seems we invite visitors to use facilites like the Velodrome, Ryder Cup and the new city centre, only to treat our locals, the lifeblood of the town with disdain.