Swimming champion Rebecca Adlington unveils sport facilities in Fareham

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DOUBLE Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington made a splash as she unveiled a £2m refurbishment that gives Fareham one of the best leisure centres in the country.

Rebecca was excited as she got into the revamped pool with youngsters and enjoyed a swim.

27/09/14 JT''Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington OBE meets Nicola McBeath from Stubbington and her son Toby (four), during the opening of the newly re-furbished Fareham Leisure Centre.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142717-3) PPP-140928-093216003

27/09/14 JT''Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington OBE meets Nicola McBeath from Stubbington and her son Toby (four), during the opening of the newly re-furbished Fareham Leisure Centre.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142717-3) PPP-140928-093216003

The 25-year-old swimmer was joined at Fareham Leisure Centre by Olympic diver Leon Taylor, as well as water polo players Fran Leighton and Adam Scholefield and synchronised swimmers Vicki Lucas and Adele Carlsen.

Fareham Borough Council pumped £1.5m into refurbishments of the pools and changing areas and the brand-new £500,000 gym was funded by their partner Everyone Active.

Rebecca, who lives in Manchester, told The News: ‘It’s so good to be here, I have never been down this way so I was really excited driving here yesterday.

‘Just to see the facilities here is just absolutely incredible. I didn’t have anything like this available to me.

27/09/14 JT''Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington OBE meets Emily Way (11),  during the opening of the newly re-furbished Fareham Leisure Centre.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142717-1) PPP-140928-093154003

27/09/14 JT''Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington OBE meets Emily Way (11), during the opening of the newly re-furbished Fareham Leisure Centre.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142717-1) PPP-140928-093154003

‘It’s great that the council and Everyone Active have put the money in to make this refurbishment happen.

‘You can see the buzz around the place, seeing the gym, the squash courts, the hall and the pool. What I find the most important thing is that it is a family day, you can come here all the time.

‘It’s amazing for the community, for the guys who want to be competitive and take their sport further or just for people who want to be active and lead a healthy lifestyle.’

Her message of the day was to get people out enjoying exercise.

27/09/14 JT''Youing dancers entertain during the opening of the newly re-furbished Fareham Leisure Centre.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142717-2) PPP-140928-093205003

27/09/14 JT''Youing dancers entertain during the opening of the newly re-furbished Fareham Leisure Centre.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (142717-2) PPP-140928-093205003

She added: ‘You never know what you are good at until you try different things. There’s benefits for every single person, no matter how old you are.’

Leon told The News: ‘It’s an amazing leisure centre here in Fareham.’

Rebecca Bowen, 22, from Titchfield Common, brought her two-year-old son Liam to meet Rebecca.

She said: ‘She’s very inspiring. People look up to her to get fit.’

Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘It’s not easy to encourage people to be active if you have a grotty leisure 
centre.

‘It’s just not going to happen. We are proud to have one of the country’s best leisure centres here in Fareham, fighting obesity and heart disease.’

He said a £7m new swimming pool at Sarisbury was being planned for 2016.

Ryan Grant, Everyone Active general manager, said: ‘It was a fantastically busy day.’