14 April 2014

Woodrow Sport Centre has received a grant of over £33,133 from Sport England through the Inspired Facilities Fund to extend and improve the changing facilities at the Swim School. To date Inspired Facilities has helped over 1,300 projects to improve and refurbish sports clubs or transform non-sporting venues into modern grassroots sport facilities.

The Woodrow Sport Centre is part of Woodrow High House which is one of youth charity London Youth’s residential centres which provides residential courses and outdoor education and sporting activities for young people from the local area and London.

The Swim School at Woodrow Sports Centre is very popular with local community groups, schools and residential groups catering for over 47,000 visits per year.

The community groups range from groups of friends to clubs or exercise sessions and young families while the residential groups are largely made up of young people from schools and youth clubs from the local area and London Youth’s member clubs with a large number of families also attending and taking advantage of the many other activities on offer at the Sports Centre.

However following feedback from Swim School users, including community and residential groups, it was felt that improvements and an expansion were needed in the changing facilities to ensure that people from both the local community and from visiting residential groups would continue to benefit from the high quality lessons and services delivered at the Swim School while also catering for an expected increase in visitors over the next few years.

Emma Collins, Sports Centre Manager, says the improvements are much needed and will also support their work with disabled groups that visit the Sports Centre.

“The popularity of the Woodrow Pool shows that it is a much needed facility for the surrounding semi-rural community. Local special needs schools also use our facilities and the extended changing facilities will improve the quality of their visits while ensuring that the Sport Centre as a whole is increasingly inclusive.”

At a time where a recent report by the All – Party Commission on Physical Activity highlighted the increasing inactivity among both young people across the UK, it is hoped that the improved changing facilities will support plans to increase the number of young people using the Swim School with 141 young people currently enrolled in the ‘improver’ and ‘advanced’ level classes. The expanded changing facilities would also ensure that those younger swimmers starting out as beginners continue to use the Swim School as they improve rather than moving onto other facilities.

Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive at London Youth, is delighted that the Woodrow Sports Centre will benefit from Sport England’s funding, commenting:

“It is fantastic that Sport England, through their Inspired Facilities Fund, is supporting the Woodrow Sports Centre’s plans to extend the changing facilities at the Swim School. Our member youth clubs that visit Woodrow always talk so positively of their experience at the Swim School and the fact that these improvements will support more young people from local area and London to be active is a real boost.”

Rt Hon Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham & Amersham, who has visited Woodrow High House, said:

“I was delighted to hear about the grant funding for Woodrow High House. It is a terrific facility for young people and this will help to improve the pool area which is visited by so many groups throughout the year. Swimming is great exercise for people, including those who have disabilities, so I was glad to hear that there will be fantastic provision for everyone. It is brilliant news.”