A group of local pensioners, who have been using the courts at a local leisure centre to play badminton every week, say that they have been 'kicked out' after 14 years.

The  Over 60s Badminton Club has 16 members, most of whom are in their seventies, with two members in their eighties.

For the past 14 years they have met at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre every Wednesday where they have used both the courts to play.

Having two courts in action in means that half the club can play while the other half watches and then they swap over.

They also use the leisure centre’s Cafe Saib every week and at Christmas pay the café to put on the club’s Christmas lunch.

The members say that they have been told by the leisure centre that they can now only have access to one badminton court, as more of the hall will be used for gymnastics.

At present a smaller area of the sports hall is curtained off for gymnastics, allowing the use of both badminton courts.

“One court is being left open, we think because it allows the climbing wall to be used,” said a club spokesperson.

“One court is not enough for our club. It would mean 12 members would be sitting out while four play.

“We are so disappointed to be excluded, said the group spokesperson. “Two of our members are 80 plus and most of us are 70 plus.

“We feel that by maintaining a healthy lifestyle we are staying away from the doctor’s surgery and the hospital.”

She added that Café Saib was also disappointed to be losing the club’s custom.

She said that alternative provision had been made for the club at Milford Haven Leisure Centre.

However, this is a less convenient location for the club’s elderly members.

“We are all devastated to be told we have to leave,” she said.

A spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said the change was necessary to utilise the space in the hall at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre in the most efficient and effective way for all users.

The extra space created by the move will be used by Haverfordwest Gymnastics Club which has an extensive waiting list and is intending to develop its provision for schools and for individuals with additional learning needs.

The spokesperson said that the additional space will allow the club to provide for more participants and that the change in space will signify more than 30 hours of use – creating significant growth of activity.

“The ability to play badminton at the centre will remain and the option to play one match after the other was provided,” said the spokesperson.

“An alternative option of moving to Milford Haven Leisure Centre has also been discussed with club organisers.

“Anyone not able to travel to Milford Haven will continue to be able to play in the day at Haverfordwest Leisure Centre following the change.

“An opportunity to move the club’s booking to another facility in Haverfordwest after 5pm is also available.”