It was a pleasure to attend the opening of the new sports centre this month. The long awaited facility was opened by Olympians Mark Foster (GB Swimmer) and Colin Jackson (GB Hurdler) on Saturday 11th January 2020.
The centre was buzzing with local residents all keen to take a look at the new facilities.
I was particularly keen to see the swimming pool – although there is no provision for a diving pool, the pool has a great outlook and spacious new changing rooms. The only disappointing aspect was the depth of the main pool for turning at one end, it might prove challenging for some of us taller swimmers!
The new gym facilities were fantastic – fitness training has changed over the years, traditional ‘sport’ has been taken over by gym training which fits in better with our modern lives, allowing people to train as and when they can. The new gym can accommodate significantly larger numbers than the previous gym which had expanded from the original weights room and had been inadequate for some years.
Whilst the climbers were mourning the loss of the challenging facilities of the old centre, the new ‘clip and climb’ area is a wonderful asset for the town, and was full on youngsters trying out the various walls.
There has been a reduction in the number of squash courts, but this perhaps is a reflection of the popularity of the sports decline since it’s heyday in the 1970/80’s. The two new courts provide an adequate facility for the local clubs and are regularly booked.
One of the major differences between the two centres is the addition of a spa. The new ‘Chawton Park Spa’ offers steam and sauna facilities with a small pool entirely separate from the main pool area, and will be a great attraction for people wanting a relaxing experience away from the crowds. There are also some treatment rooms where you can unwind with a massage or beauty treatment.