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Cllrs and celebs outside kirkby leisure centre

Kirkby Leisure Centre celebration a huge success

Former Strictly Come Dancing champion Ola Jordan was among the star names at an open day at Kirkby Leisure Centre on Saturday, March 11.

The event was held to celebrate the facility’s first six months in business, with a wide variety of free and paid-for activities laid on for the local community.

The state-of-the-art £15.5million site, run by Everyone Active in partnership with Ashfield District Council, has enjoyed a successful start to life with more than 100,000 visits since it opened in August.

Ola was joined at Kirkby Leisure Centre by ‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards, who was the first competitor in 60 years to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping in 1988.

Completing the line-up was local swimmer Ollie Hynd, a three-times Paralympic gold medallist and four-times world champion.

All three celebrities were present at the centre on Saturday morning and took part in the activity programme, as well as signing autographs and having selfies taken with the public.

Ola hosted two beginner dance classes – cha cha and jive – in the group exercise studio while ‘Eddie the Eagle’ tackled gym challenges and the fun climb wall, and Ollie gave out awards to young swimmers poolside.

Among the other activities available were free gym and swimming sessions, fun climb, soft play, face painting, balloon modelling and arts and crafts, as well as cookery demonstrations.

The day formally began with a plaque unveiling by Council leader Jason Zadrozny at the main entrance, which was followed by a question-and-answer session with the celebrities in the sports hall.

The open day was part of a weekend of celebration. Further fitness activities and two cinema screenings – Matilda the Musical and Eddie the Eagle – took place on Sunday, March 12.

Leader of Ashfield District Council, Councillor Jason Zadrozny said:

“It was amazing to see so many people attend our community celebration event despite the weather. We are immensely proud of the leisure centre and with over 100,000 people through the doors in the first six months, it speaks volumes about how the facility has been received by our residents.

“At a time when other councils are closing leisure centres, Ashfield District Council has done the opposite. We promised the people of Kirkby a swimming pool and state-of-the-art facilities and have done that and more. I would like to thank Ola, Ollie and Eddie for helping us celebrate its success and also to all the staff at the Council and at the Centre for making it such a special weekend.”

Lorenzo Clark, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said:

“This was the perfect way to celebrate the first six months of a state-of-the-art centre which will serve the community for years to come.
“It was great to see the public experience the wide range of activities and to really get a sense of how much there is on offer for everyone at this fantastic site.
“We hope to see lots of new and returning visitors soon as we look to build on the centre’s early success.”

Ollie Hynd said:

“It’s massive honour to have the pool here named after me and my brother Sam. I hope the swimming legacy me and my brother have built in Kirkby will inspire the next generation.”

‘Eddie the Eagle’ Edwards said:

“I’ve already seen the swimming pool that you have here and this centre is a beautiful facility. It certainly makes me want to put some sports kit on and take part in some sport.”

Ola Jordan said:

“My daughter is three years old and when I walked in and saw the soft play on the right, I thought ‘she would love that’.”