BARNSLEY secondary schools have the best sports facilities they’ve ever had but the level of sporting opportunity is lower than at ‘any time since the 1950s’ according to a respected basketball coach and retired teacher.

Bert Beaumont, secretary and head coach of the Barnsley Leaders Junior Basketball Club, says for the first time ever the Barnsley under 16s basketball team features no year 10 or 11 boys from Barnsley - all come from outside the borough.

He is so concerned he has written a letter to all secondary school heads and chairmen of governors, all Barnsley’s MPs and the leader of Barnsley Council Sir Steve Houghton calling for a ‘reinvigoration’ of school sport opportunities in Barnsley.

“Sport and other extracurricular activities are the things young people enjoy at school,” said Bert 74, of Church Street, Darfield.

“The sad thing is I believe there are fewer young people enjoying these activities than ever before.”

Read more in this weeks Barnsley Chronicle