Chelmsford’s Riverside Leisure Centre was officially opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent on Friday June 14.
Accompanied by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Essex and The Mayor of Chelmsford, The Duke was taken on a tour of the new complex, meeting some of the people who have played a key part in its creation.
The Duke was also given an insight into one of the most demanding aspects of the construction, with a visit to the newly refurbished ice rink and sports hall.
At the ice rink, the Royal party had a chance to see high level figure skaters and members of the local ice dance club in action.
In the sports hall, The Duke observed a game of Boccia, a Paralympic sport similar to bowls, in which athletes throw, kick or use a ramp to propel a ball as close as possible to a white target ‘jack’.
Throughout his trip, The Duke was shown the completely accessible route from reception to every part of the centre.
With the tour at an end, Chelmsford City Council’s Chief Executive, Nick Eveleigh thanked The Duke and paid tribute to everyone who had contributed to the venture:
“Undertakings on this scale require great commitment and this fantastic new facility is no exception.
“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played a part in creating this asset for our community. May this next iteration of Riverside Leisure Centre continue to serve and inspire our growing city.”
Representatives from Sport England were also present at the opening. The organisation has invested £1.5 million of National Lottery funding into the centre.
Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Director of Children, Young People and Inactivity said: “Activity levels across England are rising and centres like Riverside, along with the people who run them, are supporting more people than ever to gain the benefits from an active life at a very competitive price.”
The Duke officially opened the new centre by unveiling a commemorative slate plaque, which will be permanently displayed at the main riverbank entrance.
For further information about Riverside, please visit www.chelmsford.gov.uk/