News release from: 27/09/2022
Gamlingay community sports venue is thriving
A community gym is thriving with almost 100 members and a social buzz as a popular place to meet, thanks to successful teamwork which kept sports activities on the doorstep of locals.
Within two months of its official launch, Gamlingay gym has made significant progress, including a new dedicated area for people to meet and socialise at the gym, its first children’s birthday party on the outdoor sport pitch and plenty of football bookings.
The gym is a success story for community teamwork which ensured the gym and multi-use outdoors games remained at the village primary school.
Residents set up a charity to retain the popular facility, which includes floodlit sports pitches that people can hire for five-a-side, hockey and tennis. The pitches are also marked out for netball games.
Simon Fisher, trustee of newly formed charity Gamlingay Leisure (Community and MUGA), which runs the facilities, said: “The gym is extremely popular, and the additional benefits are evident. Socially there is a real buzz, particularly in our older membership. So much so that we have now installed a coffee machine and have spruced up the reception area to promote social interaction.
“We are grateful that several members have stepped forward as volunteers to help us with the day to day running of the gym which allows us not only to save money, but really reflects the community ownership of this facility that we always wanted to achieve.
“The Exercise Referral program Active and Healthy 4 Life is established and in full swing, the outdoor multi use area has been resurfaced and we have doubled evening bookings. Thanks to another chunk of Community Chest funding from South Cambridgeshire District Council, we have paid for additional markings for netball pitches and have re-upholstered existing equipment, promoting reuse and refurbish principles. Also, we have invested in replacement weights and some new equipment.
“There is still room for much more and we are contacting local clubs to get involved. It's been a rollercoaster ride, but it's been very rewarding. Seeing people coming together and really appreciating us getting it all back up and running again is fantastic.”
Meantime, an online booking system is fully up and running and all members are using Apps so the gym does not have to handle cash.
Council Leader and District Councillor for Gamlingay, Cllr Bridget Smith, said: “Watching the gym and outdoor games area go from strength to strength is extremely rewarding and testimony to the passion and hard work by so many to ensure it remained in the village.
"I’m delighted that it is not only a sports venue but also a place to connect with others in the community. A community run gym was only possible thanks to the partnership work between Cam Academy Trust, the Council and wonderful volunteers from the village who stepped forward. We are truly grateful to them all.”
Stephen Munday CBE, Chief Executive of The Cam Academy Trust, said: “It is exciting to see these sports facilities successfully working for all, both school and community so that our schools offer high-quality education while also being at the hearts of their local communities.”
The gym is one of 11 across South Cambridgeshire which work with the council to ensure community access can be provided.
- The Active & Healthy 4 Life exercise referral scheme is designed to create a positive change through exercise for patients with specific medical health conditions. The benefits are seen through attending regular exercise sessions of at least twice a week in addition to and enhancing daily life activities. The aim is the start of the patient’s journey to include exercise as a regular part of daily life.
- The gym is open and staffed on Mondays to Fridays from 9.30am - to 1pm and evenings from 5pm - 9pm. At weekends it is open from 9am -1pm.
- Drop in to find out about membership or visit the Gamlingay Community Gym Facebook Page.
- To join, book or find out more, download the Gamlingay Gym Website and app.
- All weather pitches can be booked for football, hockey and tennis and, because they are safe and secure, can be booked for all ages, including eg children’s football birthday parties.
- Exercise referrals are also available. Check the gym Facebook page for updates.