Great Yarmouth College celebrates new sports centre

Celebrating the completion of the new Sport and Wellbeing centre at Great Yarmouth College.Emily-Mia

Celebrating the completion of the new Sport and Wellbeing centre at Great Yarmouth College.Emily-Mia Harris with Principal Stuart Rimmer in the gym.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Great Yarmouth College has celebrated the official opening of its new Sport and Wellbeing Centre.

Heralded as a modern, state-of-the-art centre, the facilities will be free to use for staff and students and is also open to the wider community.

The project includes a specialist indoor sports floor and LED lights for the large sports hall, an air-conditioned gym, new changing rooms, a multi-use studio with biomechanical training equipment, a treatment room for sports therapy and a refurbished cafe.

The centre was opened by budding Bradwell Paralympian, Emily-Mia Harris, who as well as having her sights set on a gold medal at the Rio Olympics this year, is also a beauty therapy student at the college.

Emily-Mia, 18, was born without a tibia and had her leg amputated above the knee at the age of one.

She has however gone from novice cyclist to British champion, and has her sights set on gold for her country in 2016.

She said: “The new facilities are amazing, the people behind it have done an amazing job. Training is going really well at the moment I have a new coach in Cambridge, and I will really enjoy using the gym at the college as part of my training for Rio.”

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The centre is part of the colleges “Happy Balance” initiative and was completed in four months.

It was refurbished following a successful Sports England bid for £150,000 of the £400,000 required – with the rest of the funding being delivered by the college.

As part of the new facilities, the college has formed a partnership with East Coast Community Healthcare – who will be running a number of exercise referral classes on behalf of the NHS from the centre.

They will provide community based fitness classes, weight management classes, cancer rehabilitation programmes and more.

Vincent DeFreitas, physical activity team manager for ECCH, said: “We originally did the sessions at Cobholm Community Centre, and I think the facilities here are more suitable for those who attend the sessions.

“It is on the bottom floor so they don’t have to go up the stairs, and the facilities are far more advanced.

“The attendances to our sessions have been great so far – and the centre allows for people to move onto other aspects of the sports centre after their rehab programme is completed which is something which will benefit those who want to keep active after their programme.”

The college also now has a sports-maker, called Stuart Bolding, who will work with local clubs and societies to ensure the facilities on offer is fit for their purpose, and to organise a number of taster sessions and promotions for people who live locally.

A wide range of sport and fitness activities will be on offer at the centre such as netball, basketball, futsal, Korean martial arts form Kul Sool won, and more.