Families from across Hart have enjoyed a day of sporting fun alongside two Olympic gold medallists to celebrate the opening of a brand new leisure centre.
More than 5,000 people turned out to join double Olympic champion, Rebecca Adlington and local Rio golden girl, Alex Danson to help Hart District Council and Everyone Active open the doors to the new Hart Leisure Centre on Saturday (1st April).
Hart District Council has invested more than £23million in the new centre and Cllr Tim Southern, Chairman of the Council, welcomed the public inside by cutting the ribbon. Speaking about the event he said: “I was very pleased to open this new leisure centre to our residents and showcase these modern and state-of-the-art facilities. The project is one of the biggest investments the Council has made and it reflects our commitment to health and wellbeing in the district.”
Rebecca Adlington joined competition winner Emma Jones to jump into the pool and start a host of water-based activities for more than 100 local children. Swimmers got to try their hand at synchronised swimming and water polo, as well as well as race against former Olympians Cassie Patten and Craig Figes.
Visitors also had the opportunity to step up and score a goal against Alex Danson, who found glory in Rio as part of Team GB’s gold medal winning women’s hockey team, as well as enjoy a host of free, family-friendly activities such as gymnastics taster sessions, children’s face painting and group exercise classes.
Rebecca Adlington said: “Hart Leisure Centre is a great facility for the whole community to enjoy. The open day was really fun and gave everyone the opportunity to see and try the extensive range of activities available to them.
“Swimming is a really important, life-saving skill, and also a great way to keep fit and healthy. I’m delighted to see investments being made to ensure more people have the opportunity to participate in water-based activity. It really is a fantastic thing for the people of Hart to have on their doorstep.”
The new Hart Leisure Centre has replaced the old building with modern, top-of-the-range equipment and facilities. As well as three new swimming pools, a 130-station gym, four exercise studios and an eight-court sports hall, the centre will introduce a range of brand new facilities, including a climbing wall, multiple outdoor sports pitches, and sauna and steam room.
Everyone Active will manage the centre on behalf of the Council and together the two organisations are helping more people in Hart to improve their health and wellbeing.
David Love, Everyone Active’s Area Contract Manager in Hart, said: “The open day was a fantastic event and we were delighted to give people the chance to see and try the new facilities for themselves. It also gave many people a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete against Olympic athletes, which is something I hope they will remember for a long time.
The new centre’s improved design, increased provision of swimming space and enlarged activity offer means it is better equipped to cater for local people’s health and fitness needs, and shows Everyone Active’s commitment to Hart District Council’s long-established philosophy of supporting the health of its residents and ensuring they have access to top-class leisure facilities.”
For more information about the new leisure centre, or to enquire about membership, please visit www.everyoneactive.com/centre/hart-leisure-centre.