Abronhill school closure could hit talented martial artists.

Former Commonwealth silver medallist Robert Robertson who continues to represent Scotland at Taekwondo fears that his young charges will be robbed of a sporting chance to flourish, if the school shuts.

The 26 year old who is a former pupil of St Maurice’s High School founded Raw Taekwondo which meets at the Abronhill secondary which has been controversially earmarked for closure. This would see pupils transferred to Cumbernauld High School.

Robert said: “I have been working tirelessly in the Abronhill area to bring new talent, skills and enjoyment to sport. It’s a chance to make a positive impact on the community for young people here.

“The club is easy for the people of Abronhill to reach. If it were to move to Cumbernauld High School, it would not be possible for many members to attend especially if their parents don’t own cars, as well as costing more on travel,” he said.

“The club has a large membership and is working in line with the Government’s policy of increasing participation in sports for youths. The proposal will undermine that. It could inhibit the progreess of young people who possess the talents to compete at elite level such as the youth Olympic games,’’ he added.

This view is shared by unemployed mum Heather Graham whose daughter Kayla Lee (9) was recently named best overall female fighter in all categories at the Glasgow Open championships.

Heather of Elm Drive said: “I am upset and angry that Kayla may not be able to reach here potential. If I could take her to another club I would but since I am out of work now, I can’t afford to.

“I would have to pay her bus fares as well as my own and I have a two year old to look after so we would have to come to the club and wait for hours.

“Kayla loves the club, is doing so well and I am disgusted that whoever wants to close the school isn’t thinking of how it will affect me and my children,” she added.

However a spokesman from North Lanarkshire Council’s Education Department said: “No decision has been taken on the future of these schools, however, a thorough consultation on proposals to rationalise both high schools is currently underway.

“Until this consultation process has been concluded then we are unable to comment on each specific issue.

“However, NLC is passionate about encouraging people to participate in sport. Should the proposals go ahead then we would provide full support all of the clubs involved.’’

Locals can contribute to the process in writing to [email protected] or Abronhill High School and Cumbernauld High School Rationalisation, Learning & Leisure Services, Municipal Buildings, Kildonan St, Coatbridge by no later than 20 November 2012.