Fareham Leisure Centre reopening and visit from footballer Alan Shearer pushed back a month due to Covid

STAFF and supply chains hit by the pandemic have pushed back the reopening of Fareham Leisure Centre, as well as delaying a visit by football legend Alan Shearer.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 4:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 4:14 pm

The leisure centre was due to reopen after its £6.3m refurbishment on Saturday, September 25.

But the event has been pushed back to Saturday, October 16, due to the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains and staffing levels at the site, according to a representative from operator Everyone Active.

The reopening will see Olympic bronze medallist Declan Brooks, who grew up in Portchester, unveiling the refurbished centre at 9.45am.

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BMX rider Declan Brooks with his bronze medal. Picture: Mike Cooter (070821)

On the following Tuesday at 4pm, former England striker Alan Shearer will be visiting to launch the leisure complex’s new high intensity interval training class, called Fortis.

The footballer will be hosting a meet-and-greet at the centre open to the general public, before hosting an invite-only workout session.

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Councillor Sue Walker, the council’s executive member for leisure and community, said: ‘This is a really exciting addition to the offer at Fareham Leisure Centre as part of the recent extensive refurbishment programme and will bring something different to the local community.

Alan Shearer after scoring for England against Holland in the Group A match at Wembley during the European Football Championships. England beat Holland 4-1 Picture: Getty Images

‘It’s great to have a well-known ambassador like Alan Shearer backing this new workout programme, and we hope this will inspire even more people to get fit and healthy.’

Funded by Fareham Borough Council, the centre’s refurbishment features a ‘Top Rock’ climbing wall for children and adults, a soft play area for younger children, and an indoor splash pad that is suitable for those with accessible needs.

The centre has also seen extensive improvements to its gym, café, changing rooms, and reception area. There will also be additional parking for 32 vehicles.

An artist's impression of how the extension could look.

Ryan Grant, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: ‘Despite the many challenges we’ve faced this year, we’re really looking forward to being able to finally celebrate with an official open weekend.

‘It will be great to see the local community benefiting from all the fantastic facilities we have on offer and hope they will join us for a weekend of fun-filled activities for the whole family.’

Free activities for the open weekend can be booked online from October 2 via the Everyone Active website.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

What the new children's indoor play area at Fareham Leisure Centre will look like after the £6.3m redevelopment

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