After a year in the waiting, Sleaford’s Leisure Centre threw open its doors to the public today (Tuesday) after a major £2.85m refurbishment programme.
Regular users of the pool, who were consulted on the redesign were first to take the plunge and were full of compliments, as were a selected group from William Alvey School. Reg Hind, of Ruskington, said: “It is just like a brand-new pool in a brand-new building, it is absolutely brilliant.
“It certainly has come a long way since the 1950s when it was in the open air. When I came here with school the water used to be just 48 degrees. Prior to it closing last year for the refurbishment I was coming four mornings a week plus the Sunday morning swim club.”
He taught his daughter Angie Hind to swim in the Sleaford pool and she has taught her children and hopes to now teach her granddaughter here. She said: “It is absolutely stunning. The finish is just brilliant and somethign Sleaford can be proud of.”
She is a coach with Woodhall Spa swimming club who used the Sleaford pool as their base for lessons. Numbers had dipped while they have been temporarily relocated to the pool at RAF Cranwell but she hoped to see a resurgence again. She said they usually have a long waiting list for non swimmers but there is always space for swimmers wanting to improve their technique or stamina.
Young Byron Blackburn had remembered using the old pool: “It is much better than the old one,” he said.
The official opening will be by former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies on November 8 and fellow Olympic swimming stars will be attending an event the following day. See next week’s paper for more on Tuesday’s opening.
The revamped pool has barnd new changing rooms, redesigned fitness suite, dance studio, sauna and steam room as well as the woodland water splash pool for under fours.
Pictured are William Alvey Year 4 pupils, from left, Jake Barnshaw, Lauren Thide, Josef Wells and Byron Blackburn.