Like many, Basingstoke Sports Trust has had an extremely difficult year but comes out of lockdown, celebrating the 50th Birthday of Basingstoke Sports Centre at Festival Place.
The Charity first opened the sports centre doors to local communities in 1970 with the auspicious opening ceremony being performed by non-other than His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by his young son, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
Since that time, there have been tens of millions of visits to Basingstoke Sports Centre for a whole variety of sport and leisure activities, including the Swim School that has taught more than 20,000 children to swim.
Additionally, the Trust provides a wide programme of health and wellbeing programmes such as cardiac and cancer rehab, falls prevention and Parkinson’s. Whilst the pandemic has temporarily halted these, they’re due to restart in the New Year.
In 2015 the Trust opened a second site in Newbury and between then and 2020 there have been more than five and a half million visits. Whilst a large number of these were to swim, gym and take part in group exercise, there was also nearly 50,000 health and wellbeing visits.
Given the restrictions currently in place, a more practical celebration is planned to be held for customers and members in the early part of next year. For new customers, however, the Trust is launching a 50 days for £50 offer to mark this very special Birthday.
Martyn Frost, Chairman of the Trustees, told us “the Trust is an amazing place to be and this is due to both the staff we have and the customers that use our facilities. It’s been an incredibly difficult year and so it’s refreshing to be able to celebrate something so positive. 50 years is a truly incredible milestone.”
James Starbuck, Chief Executive, said “as with most businesses, we’ve been hit hard during the pandemic. As a charity that relies solely on customer support, we’ve found the last 8 months extremely challenging and have had to make sad and difficult decisions. However, with the news that a vaccination programme is imminent, Christmas just ahead of us, being able to celebrate 50 years of providing sport, leisure and wellbeing for our local communities provides some much-needed positivity.
We look forward to welcoming all customers, new and old, and send them our very best wishes for a healthy and happy Christmas and a far better 2021.”