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Rebuilt Batchwood Sports Centre reopens to the public
Batchwood Sports Centre reopened its doors on Bank Holiday Monday with a host of free sports activities for young and old alike to enjoy following a £6.6million rebuild.
More than 500 people were treated to their first glimpse of the state-of-the-art facilities, which has been rebuilt after it was destroyed in a fire in August 2011.
The Mayor of St Albans Annie Brewster joined sports enthusiasts to try a range of free activities including squash, tennis, bowls and group exercises She said: "I could not be more delighted to be opening the Batchwood Sports Centre at the end of my term as Mayor.
"As you might know, my themes have been young people, Olympic legacy, heritage and tourism. This stunning contemporary new facility ticks all the boxes.
"Today we are celebrating all the hard work of the professionals delivering this iconic project but it is, in fact, only the beginning. What is important is how we use it.
"I know people are going to love it and enjoy using it for years to come and I am looking forward to seeing many future champions created in it."
The leisure centre boasts a 48-station gym, strength and conditioning suite, two refurbished squash courts, six brand new indoor tennis courts, a viewing gallery, three outdoor courts, two mini tennis courts and a group exercise studio.
There is also a multi-purpose function bar, a coffee bar, a special judo dojo training facility and a education room, which is a LTA regional coaching and education centre of excellence.
Adjacent to the sports centre is a bowls green and the Batchwood 18-hole Golf Course, grass practice area and 9-hole putting green.
The sports centre has been funded using a combination of grants from sports organisations, insurance funds and the council’s Leisure Capital Budget. The Lawn Tennis Association and Sport England, have also invested £1.1 million in to the project.
The centre is managed on behalf of St Albans District Council by 1Life.
Councillor Mike Wakely, portfolio holder for sports, leisure and heritage at the council, said: "This wonderful new sports centre provides facilities designed for use by the sporting elite as well as the whole community. The extra funding from the Lawn Tennis Association and Sport England means that there are even better facilities than before.
"Come and try them out and train alongside sporting stars of the future as they get in shape for tennis competitions around the globe, including Wimbledon."
Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray’s mother, Judy Murray will officially open the centre on July 8, where children will get an opportunity to play alongside her.
The official opening, scheduled two days after Wimbledon, will also support ‘Rally For Bally’, a charity tournament to be held on June 15 in memory of tennis star Elena Baltacha, who was due to open the leisure centre. She lost her battle to liver cancer on May 4.
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