Sport, health and leisure is about to get a whole lot better in the south east of Sheffield, as newly developed, state-of-the art Graves Sports and Health Centre opens its doors on Thursday 1 September.
The £16million development incorporates a major fitness suite and studios, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, two brand new swimming pools, dedicated gymnastics and trampolining halls plus is home to specialist health and research facilities as part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM).
Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council said: “Through our excellent partnerships with the NCSEM, Sport England and Places for People we can offer quality facilities, a wide variety of activities and expert health advice all under one roof which ultimately means huge benefits for the health and wellbeing of people in the area.
“Sheffield is renowned as a sporting city, our goal is to be the most active city in the UK by 2020 and facilities like this make that goal much more achievable. So, whether you enjoy an invigorating swim, a heart-pumping fitness class, a run on the treadmill, a round of tennis or even a few flips and tricks on the trampoline, I am confident that we have something here for all ages, abilities and interests, and encourage people to pop in to this top-class fitness venue to see for themselves.”
The redevelopment is home to first class tennis facilities with eight indoor and six outdoor courts plus the option of professional coaching sessions. The two brand new pools – a six lane 25 metre pool plus a dedicated teaching pool – cater for the keen swimmers and the beginners and customers’ fitness and workout needs are easily accommodated through the 100+ station gymnasium and three workout studios hosting over 50 fitness classes per week.
The appointed operator, Places for People, have already signed up over 400 people on the special pre-opening membership offer, which is available until 31 August and gives people their first month free.
Richard Cowley, Area Manager at Places for People Leisure, said: “We are really excited about the opening of the new Graves Sport and Health Centre. It offers first class leisure facilities and will provide fantastic opportunities for people in the local community to engage in various sporting and fitness activities, and will help to achieve our goal of creating active places and healthy people. I’d encourage those who are thinking about membership to get in touch, take advantage of our offers and be one of the first through the doors when we open on Thursday.”
The centre is also the third location in Sheffield where NCSEM facilities are available. NCSEM brings together clinical services, sport and exercise specialists and health professionals to make it easier for physical activity to become part of the treatment for a range of chronic health conditions.
Sir Andrew Cash, Chief Executive for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine to transform the health and well-being of our city. Changing health behaviour is a long journey, but through this innovative approach we hope to make a real difference to the lives of people in Sheffield and beyond by bringing together health prescriptions, medical advice, treatments and physical activity all under one roof.”
Sport England is investing £2.5m of National Lottery funding from its Iconic Facilities Fund towards the redevelopment of the centre, and have worked closely with the project team to provide detailed advice and support on the development of this project.
Director of Property at Sport England Charles Johnston said: “We are delighted to offer £2.25 million of National Lottery funding to help people in Sheffield live more active lives. The centre’s groundbreaking decision to place fitness and expert health advice side by side, puts wellbeing at the heart of the community.
“Thanks to the variety of sports and activities on offer, Graves Sports and Health Centre will make being active more accessible, affordable and fun. I would especially encourage anyone who has been thinking about getting active to check out these new facilities and see what’s on offer.”
The development is funded by the City Council, Sport England and NCSEM. Places for People will operate the centre under a 10 year contract to the City Council, but it will not require on-going subsidy from the ratepayer. The City Council will work jointly with Places for People to ensure the venue attracts high levels of usage and operates on an affordable and accessible basis for local people.
In recognition of the quality tennis facilities available at the new Graves Sports and Health Centre, the Davis Cup Trophy Tour will stop there on Saturday 10 September, with free tennis activities for everyone – more details will be published on the centre’s website.
Various membership packages are available. People can sign up for membership now online at www.graveshealthandsportscentre.org or by phone on 0114 2839900, and from Saturday 27 August they can sign up in person at the new centre.