Highworth Recreation Centre is managed as a partnership between Swindon Borough Council and the centre’s own management committee, as a charitable trust. The centre offers it members a wide variety of facilities including, outdoor swimming pool, which is part of their current refurbishment project, state of the art gym, multi-purpose sports hall, squash courts and community hall. Pay as you go schemes and cost effective memberships are available via Corporate Passports and the Swindon Card, which offers concessionary rates for students and disabled users.
Ann Lewis, Gym Manager at Highworth Recreation Centre, commented, “The original part of the centre is 40 years old, and, whilst refurbishment has taken place over a number of years, even in the early 90s we only had a car radio in the gym. A more recent upgrade introduced a portable TV to the gym but this was often used at the same time as the radio and sometimes led to customer disputes about which channels should be played or watched.”
I chose them because they offered me a variety of clearly explained options and were very adaptable on costs.
The centre undertook the most recent refurbishment phase at the end of 2005. This included the installation of a state of the art wireless cardio entertainment system, Audeon, as well as wall mounted LCD TV screens, 6 CD changer and FM receivers. Commenting on her decision to use Leisure Sound Solutions, Ann Lewis said, “I chose them because they offered me a variety of clearly explained options and were very adaptable on costs. Budget is always a big concern as a charitable trust and Leisure Sound Solutions offered value for money and a product we could work with. In the end the centre was only closed for ten days for the entire refurbishment, including new gym equipment, flooring, decoration and alterations to the reception area. The AV installation went very smoothly and was highly professional.” The centre was keen to use Audeon, a wireless system, because of their recent Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) status. Concerns were raised over the safety issues of cables, as they could not be placed under a platform, as is often the case, as the equipment would be inaccessible to many less mobile members.
The system has raised the profile of the club and the feedback from customers and staff has been very positive.
The refurbishment allows the centre to compete against nearby private clubs, by offering their customers top quality facilities. Ann Lewis explained, “The installation of the new AV and entertainment system means that we can offer our customers sports, music and news channels via satellite, as well as terrestrial channels. A choice of radio stations is also available. Via Audeon and the TV screens, our members have plenty of choice of entertainment while they work out. The system has raised the profile of the club and the feedback from customers and staff has been very positive. I recently had a husband and wife thank me because, rather than sitting at home, eating and watching the TV, they were now at the gym working out. The entertainment was their incentive to start exercising.” Ann Lewis concluded, “The AV equipment is really easy to use. Even our most techno phobic staff can put on Eastenders! It also uses a universal patch lead, so our members can bring in their own headphones, and the boxes look great on the equipment, as they are very discrete. I also know that if we do have any problems that Leisure Sound Solutions will be there to help us. I have been really impressed with their service.”