Olympic inspiration for new sports centre
A NEW £3.2 million sports centre in Keynsham kitted out with fitness equipment from London's Olympic Village has opened its doors to the public.
The state-of-the-art Wellsway School Sports Centre took 18 months to build on the school's campus in Chandag Road.
It has been used by students since the end of last year and swung open its doors to the wider community on Monday.
The centre has a notable claim to fame – some of the fitness equipment used to kit it out was used by Olympic athletes during London 2012.
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Simon White, a deputy head teacher at the school, said students were now training on equipment which may have been used by the likes of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah in the Olympic Village in Stratford last summer.
He said: "The students have thoroughly enjoyed using it.
"As an academy, we had a commitment to opening up to the public – it's a great way of achieving our ambitions. It's been splendid – there's been interest from folk from all walks of life.
"It's accessible and it's really attractive aesthetically – we couldn't have been more pleased with the whole project.
"As you can imagine, we had slightly old fashioned facilities here before and we've now got something which is state-of-the-art.
"You can do all sorts of different things on the equipment from a learning perspective and it takes things to a different level. There is some ultra modern IT involved.
"We were being trained on the fitness equipment by the guy who ran the fitness centre at the Olympic Park. He was a master trainer from Techno Gym. Some of the equipment may have been used by Usain Bolt and the likes of those."
The centre will be running a series of group exercise classes as well as martial arts and women's self-defence sessions in its activity studio.
The sports hall is equipped for basketball, netball, volleyball and badminton as well as use for indoor training sessions. Several sports groups and teams have already made bookings.
The centre was built by construction firm Cowlin for Bath and North East Somerset Council after permission was granted in 2011.
The 1,350-student Wellsway School, became an academy in October 2011, was awarded specialist sports and science status in 2007.
The school already had strong ties with London 2012 – with students adopting the Olympic and Paralympic values as their own code ahead of the games.
During a visit to the school in January last year, Education Secretary Michael Gove praised Wellsway for adopting the values.
The centre's opening times are 5pm until 10pm Monday to Friday, 8am until 6pm on Saturday and 8am until 8pm Sunday. Monthly membership costs £29. Discounts are available for family memberships and under 18s.
For more information call 0117 916 1028 or visit www.sportwellsway.com.