Groundwork on the new-look sports centre is generating excitement among families, fitness fans and council workers.
John Hendle said: “It is something that Clowne has needed for a long time. The swimming pool will be absolutely fantastic and so convenient as it’s only a ten-minute walk from my house.”
The retired environmental health officer and his wife Ann, of Gray Street, Clowne, take their two-year-old twin grandsons, Toby and Harry, to the centre’s play sessions.
John, 61 said: “The boys are much more confident since coming here. They have always had each other but here they play with other children. It is safe and well run.”
PE teacher Sophie Lawes, of Shuttlewood Road, Bolsover, takes her two-year-old son Evan to play sessions at the centre. She said: “It is really good for his fitness and co-ordination and for him to socialise.
“We are excited about the new facility and will be using everything.”
Sarah Bingham, senior sport development officer, said of the development: “It is going to give us a lot more scope, not only for the youngest users but all the community. We have a social activity hub for 50+ where they do lots of activities including Boccia, bowls and badminton and they also have the opportunity to have a cuppa and a chat.”
Joan Wood, 69, of Blunt Avenue, Mastin Moor, is eagerly looking forward to the improved facilities. She said: “I can’t wait for the sauna - it will be somewhere to relax when you have done a workout and it will be nice to have a cafe.”
She visits the centre’s gym twice a week. “It has definitely benefitted me health-wise,” said Joan. “I had high blood-pressure and since I’ve been coming to the gym, my blood pressure has been normal.
“I like coming here to work out and talk to others - we have a laugh with the bodybuilders and ask them whether they’re pumping iron or tinfoil!”
The gym helps to improve the fitness of those with health problems who have been referred by their GPs and are eligible for a free 12-week programme of exercises.
Retired shopkeeper Arvinder Grewal, 61, of Slayley Road, Barlborough, said: “I had a minor heart attack a year ago. The doctor said I needed some exercise to build my muscles up.” He now attends the gym four times a week.
Wayne Carter, planning and development manager, has worked at Bolsover District Council for more than 25 years. He said: “I live in Clowne and never thought we’d get investment in this facility. These are exciting times.”