Youngsters from a Mansfield swimming club enjoyed a double treat when they officially opened a £15 million water ride – joined by their most famous alumni.
Young members of Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club, aged six to 14, were among the first to try out the new Tropical Cyclone raft ride at Center Parcs’ Sherwood Forest resort yesterday – alongside Mansfield’s double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, who first started swimming at the club.
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Shannon Scott, aged 22, a committee member and coach at the club who also works as a beauty therapist and receptionist at the resort’s Aqua Sana spa, said: “It’s quite an honour. The children have been really excited.
The ride is a part of a £15 million investment in the resort’s Subtropical Swimming Paradise swimming complex, which also includes new family and toddler water play areas.
The four-person raft ride lasts 35 seconds and boasts a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour through its 125 metres of twists and turns before a “giant cone drop tipping riders at an angle that gives riders a zero-gravity experience for a second before propelling them down the tube to a splash pool”.
Martin Dalby, Center Parcs chief executive officer, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be opening this unique and exhilarating family raft ride, along with new family and toddler water play areas for guests of all ages to enjoy.
“Families will often spend a whole day in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, enjoying the pools and slides, so it’s important for us to keep this feature fresh and interesting.”
Rebecca, who recalled visiting Center Parcs as a child, said: “It has been a pleasure to open this new ride at Center Parcs’ Sherwood Forest today and meet some of the children who now swim at the Sherwood Colliery Swimming Club, the club I used to swim at for years ago.
“Building children’s confidence in the water is so important and this new ride and these new water play areas are fun for everyone from really young children, right up to young adults.”