OLYMPIC gold medallist Rebecca Adlington said Bromsgrove’s new community leisure centre was one of the best she had ever seen with regard to the mixture of activities it offered.
The 28-year-old was joined by fellow Olympian Steve Parry at the official opening of the centre which was attended by 120 children and their families.
Speaking to The Standard, Rebecca said: “It’s amazing – I’ve been to a lot of pools and leisure centres in my time.
“It’s got so much – there’s something for everyone.
“As well as the beautiful pool, there’s a lovely airy spacious gym with great equipment which is what you want.
“When I arrived here there was a yoga class on and it was full.
“It’s fantastic that the public have dived straight in and got involved with the activities.
“I’ve also been up the climbing wall – that was a bit scary.”
She said it was a lot different to local pools 20 years ago with the foot baths and everyone worried about getting verrucas.
Earlier in the day, Coun Peter Whittaker, Bromsgrove District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure, gave the opening speech.
He said: “This facility is a new jewel in Bromsgrove’s crown so it was fitting that a sporting celebrity such as Rebecca Adlington, was a part of this open day.”
Jon Senior, regional director at Everyone Active, reiterated what Rebecca had said, saying the organisation operated 170 centres up and down the country and Bromsgrove’s was one of the best with regard to the mix of activities it offered.
“It was an honour to welcome Rebecca Adlington and Steve Parry to join us in opening Bromsgrove Sports and Leisure Centre.
“We are very proud of the new centre and we look forward to encouraging even more people to become more active, more often with the extensive range of facilities that are now available for people across the district.”
Richard Fielding, Morgan Sindall’s area director in the Midlands, added: “Encouraging active and healthy lifestyles is a key objective for local authorities, and one assisted by the provision of first-class, modern facilities for people to exercise in.
“We’re incredibly pleased to have delivered such an important addition to the council’s leisure portfolio. It’s gratifying to see local people enjoying it and that the children here today are so enthused by two of the country’s sporting heroes.”
Rebecca Adlington also took part in a question and answer session with those gathered where she spoke about her successes in the pool.
She told them how, when she was training for the Olympics, she undertook two-hour sessions ten times-a-week, sometimes notching up 70,000metres.
She was asked why she chose her stroke and event.
“It’s more a case of the event choosing you and what you are built for.”
She said she was not that fast when it came to sprinting and was better over longer distances.
When asked about which strokes she was not so good at she said: “Anything but front crawl.”
Other revelations from the Olympians were her favourite food (cake) and her least favourite (fish).
“I don’t eat my own kind,” she joked before revealing she was ‘petrified of the sea’ and ‘liked to see the bottom of the pool’.
Rebecca was inspired to take up swimming competitively after her parents took her to the Manchester Commonwealth Games at the age of 12.
“I saw the crowd and the amazing atmosphere and thought ‘this is what I want to do’.
“It’s great to watch swimming on TV but to be there watching it live gives you goosebumps.”
Rebecca said Birmingham having the Commonwealth Games in 2022 was a fantastic opportunity for people in Bromsgrove and the surrounding areas to go and see it.
“Hopefully a lot of people here will get a chance to see the event.
“There will be two types of people with regard to the competition – those who will be at that level and be able to compete in Birmingham and those who will watch the games in Birmingham and be inspired like I was to get to the next one and the Olympics.”
Bromsgrove Sports and Leisure Centre officially opened its door the public on November 27, replacing the Dolphin Centre.
The new site boasts a 100-station fitness suite, which is double the size of that at the previous centre, and a 25m, six lane swimming pool and teaching pool. Along with a spa and climbing centre.
For more information about Bromsgrove Sports and Leisure Centre, call 01527 916434 or visit: https://www.everyoneactive.com/bromsgrove-sports-leisure-centre