Protesters ‘frighten’ and ‘intimidate’ De Montfort University sport students

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By Grace Morgan

Students of De Montfort University (DMU) were confronted by a group of angry protesters as they turned up for their football training session on Monday.

Members of Beaumont Town Football Club (BTFC) staged a protest outside the gates of the sports facility which is shared by DMU.

Ruth Harris a third year DMU student and member of the women’s football team said: “It was very frightening for us all and they were extremely intimidating.

“They blocked us from being able to enter the pitches and even young children were swearing at us.”

DMU have invested over £2million into the facility which now has a fully floodlit 3G artificial pitch and two FA standard 11 a side pitches. The facility is the home to BTFC and is also used by DMU football teams.

The protest was made up of angry parents and children who feel they are not being treated fairly by DMU.

Members of Beaumont Town carried banners outlining that DMU are ‘dictating’ to them.

Ruth said: “We knew there was a protest happening but we never imagined there would be so many people.

“There were easily over 100 people there.”

Members of the women’s football team had turned up to the training ground just before 7pm on Monday 14 November to use the 3G pitch as scheduled.

The university had brought in security for the evening as the protest began but the amount of people taking part in the planned march was underestimated.

There were two cars parked in front of the entrance gates of the car park which prevented any students from parking their cars.

The angry mob of protesters booed and hissed at students as they walked past and chanted abusively towards them.

Students were advised by DMU sport department not to say anything to entice the protest further.

The crowd was made up of men, women and children most of whom were wearing BTFC clothing.

Members of the women’s team were physically assaulted, Ruth explained how they were ‘shoved to the ground’ by members of the protesting group.

Beaumont Park is currently closed until further notice and members of both BTFC and DMU are unable to use the facility.
De Montfort University have released a statement regarding the matter which can be found here: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/news/2016/november/beaumont-park-a-statement-from-dmu.aspx

 

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