SPORTING CHAMPIONS from Oldham were the star guests at the official opening of the town’s brand new £15 million leisure centre.
World champion boxing hero Anthony Crolla, Manchester United legend Paul Scholes and former Leeds Rhinos and GB rugby star Barrie McDermott all received a rapturous reception at the celebration event last month.
They were joined by England handball and netball stars who carried out demonstrations with Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) members in the centre’s eight-court sports hall.
Newly-elected Oldham West and Royton MP, Jim McMahon, unveiled a plaque to officially open the flagship centre, which was funded by Oldham Council and managed by OCL.
He was joined by council staff, local councillors, sporting governing bodies, OCL and construction industry representatives.
The enhanced facilities, which include a 25-metre, eight-lane swimming pool of county-level standard, an 80 station gym, two dance studios, a bespoke spinning studio, eight court sports hall with seating for over 500 spectators mean Oldham can now hold regional and televised competitions like never before.
The Middleton Road centre also boasts an indoor bowls arena, café and ample free car parking and opened its doors to the public last November.
Anthony Crolla, who took valuable time out of his training to attend the opening, said: “It’s an amazing venue for residents to enjoy and take advantage of.
“It’s fantastic to see facilities like this being built on my doorstep because it’s this investment that will help bring new talent through and ensure Oldham and Greater Manchester’s illustrious sporting history continues for decades to come.”
Paul Scholes added: “I’ve visited the facility with my children since it opened and they love using it. It’s a fantastic place for all ages to enjoy and improve their health and fitness.”
Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader (Elect), said: “The opening of the new Oldham Leisure Centre is an exciting and significant milestone for the borough.
“It really is a first-rate facility for the community and for holding major regional and national competitions in some sports.”
Stuart Lockwood, OCL Chief Executive, said: “These facilities will attract a wide variety of sporting and commercial competitions and events into the town.
“We now have a full complement of excellent facilities and the feedback we have received so far has been extremely positive.”
For more information about Oldham Leisure Centre visit www.oclactive.co.uk