A fabulous weekend of fun is promised at Southwell Leisure Centre which marks its 50th anniversary this summer.
The centre, which opened its doors back in 1965, is hosting an open weekend on 18th & 19th July to which everyone is invited to share in the celebrations.
Along with the more traditional activities such as swimming, squash and table tennis, visitors can have a go at something more unusual, such as water zorbing – where you stand inside a giant beach ball and attempt to walk on water.
Children’s activities include a special character appearances from STA “Stanley”, adult have a go classes, include karate, body pump and Zumba are also on the programme there will also be a farm roadshow, pet handling sessions and children’s entertainer and giant inflatables obstacle course, promising something for everyone.
The fun starts on Saturday 18th and continues on Sunday 19th July. Both days from 10am until 4pm.
Southwell Swimming Pool opened its doors for the first time July 1965, after an intensive fundraising campaign within the community led by a committee including Lady Starkey, Mr Lyth, Mr D Gascoigne, Mrs Foster and Dr Savage.
During the next 20 years the leisure centre grew in popularity, with dry side activities being run from the Minster School gymnasium and school hall. The squash courts were located in a separate building near the tennis and netball courts.
Numbers through the door for dry side activities rose dramatically from 1,700 to 15,000 a year meaning demand soon began to outgrow the facilities. Room for expansion was limited with the leisure centre’s access to the school’s buildings being restricted to 6-10pm on weekdays only.
A campaign run by the then centre manager, Daphne James, along with fundraising through the local Splash Fund resulted in refurbishment in 1982 of the pool along with the addition of the sports hall and lounge bar.
In 2004, the centre again underwent an extensive programme of refurbishment supported by funding from Newark and Sherwood District Council. A new roof covering the main swimming replaced the original 1965 structure and works included meeting rooms, viewing areas, a children’s play area and modernisation of the centre’s front entrance to provide the layout That visitors are more familiar with today.
Andrew Nelson, facilities manager with Southwell Leisure Centre Trust, said: “The 50th anniversary is another important milestone in the success and development of the leisure centre. The open weekend is going to be a really special celebration and we’ve made sure that there is something for everyone to take part
“From the onset of building and operating a swimming pool in Southwell , the object of the centre has been to establish and maintain leisure facilities for the residents of Southwell and district. Fifty years on and counting, we would like to say a thank you to everyone connected with the centre during this time, and would like to thank all our existing customers for their continued support.”
The centre is operated as a trust with financial and management support from Active4Today and Newark and Sherwood District Council.