At last - waiting is over for leisure cash
AFTER more than 20 years, £12,000 has been donated to the Royston Leisure Centre. The Leisure in Royston Appeal was set up in the mid-1980s to improve recreation facilities in the town but it is only now that the money for equipment has been handed over
AFTER more than 20 years, £12,000 has been donated to the Royston Leisure Centre. The Leisure in Royston Appeal was set up in the mid-1980s to improve recreation facilities in the town - but it is only now that the money for equipment has been handed over. Appeal treasurer Ted Long said: "We had a community meeting some years ago and we decided we would raise this money, but wait until the leisure centre was built before handing it over. "Since then we've just left the money in a bank account gaining interest." The cash has been used to buy a range of equipment with a focus on providing for all sectors of the community. The equipment includes Wallo the Whale toys for children, and a set of swimming pool steps, to allow elderly people better access to the pool. Steve Crowley, project manager for North Herts District Council's leisure department, said after discussions with the appeal, they jointly decided how the money would be best spent. "We decided the best way was to look at different areas of the population so we've got things for the younger generation as well as the older generation," he said. "We don't normally have the chance to spend money on so many different things, so we are grateful and hope this will give people opportunities that they wouldn't have had were it not for the money," he said. More than £1,000 of the money is being used to help fund a GP referral and health initiative, which includes training for two members of leisure centre staff. Councillor Bill Davidson, chairman of the district council's Royston area committee, said: "I am delighted that people have joined together to provide funds for this new equipment at the leisure centre. "It will give customers an enhanced experience when visiting the leisure centre and is an excellent example of how the voluntary sector can help the work of the council. "It supports our key objective of promoting healthier communities." Gerry Pottinger, vice-chairman of the appeal, said he was pleased that after all this time the funds had been handed over. He regretted, however, that many of the people who worked on the appeal were not present to see the cheque change hands. "It's unfortunate that many of the people who had the vision to start this appeal are not here today," he added.