Watford welcomes sporting legends to official opening

Legends from football and athletics will be in Watford to mark the official opening of the town’s refurbished leisure facilities on 19 and 20 January.

Published: Wednesday, 9th January 2019

Legends from football and athletics will be in Watford to mark the official opening of the town’s refurbished leisure facilities on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 January.

Watford Borough Council in partnership with Everyone Active began the £1.8milion refurbishment of the two leisure centres in August 2018. To celebrate the completion of the project, Watford, Liverpool and England legend John Barnes will be officially opening Watford Leisure Centre Woodside on Saturday 19 January (11am) and Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson will be cutting the ribbon at Watford Leisure Centre Central on Sunday 20 January (11am).

Families are invited to come and meet the sporting heroes while also experiencing a host of free activities in the new look facilities. Throughout the weekend there will be free swimming, gym challenges group exercise classes and bouncy castles.

Barnes, who began his professional footballing career at Watford Football Club, made 233 appearances in six years and became a regular for the England team earning 79 caps. As well as his Olympic medal, Jackson also won two golds at the World Championships and still holds the indoor 60m hurdles world record.

“I’m really pleased to be coming back to Watford and seeing the local community that supported me for so many years,” Barnes said. “It’s great that such a fantastic project has been undertaken to improve the facilities in Watford and more members of the community can get active.”

“The work that Everyone Active and Watford Borough Council has done within Watford will bring better facilities to the whole community and I am proud to be part of the official opening of the new improved facilities,” Jackson said. “I can’t wait to see everyone on Sunday 20 January at the Watford Leisure Centre Central.”

Customers will now be able to enjoy larger gyms with state-of-the-art equipment, a brand new toning suite and new virtual group cycling classes.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said, ‘During the election I promised continue making our leisure centres even better and so I’m delighted that we can deliver these fantastic new first class facilities. I’m proud that at a time when councils are under more financial pressure than ever that we’re able to work with Everyone Active to still provide the things that matter to people in our town.’

Gary Foley, Everyone Active contract manager, said: “We are delighted with the improvements that have been made to the centres. We want to thank the council for their support in being able to update the facilities. We are really pleased that both John Barnes and Colin Jackson are able to join us across the weekend. It is a great way to celebrate the centres and also to give back to our customers for their patience throughout the project.”

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