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Free leisure centre access to help Rushcliffe's national sporting stars

28 February 2018

Athletes based in Rushcliffe have praised a Borough Council scheme which provides free access to its leisure centres to help them compete at national level.

In conjunction with Parkwood Leisure who operate four of the council’s sites, eligible residents are part of the Free Access to National Sportspeople (FANS) scheme.

It aims to help them reach their full potential by reducing the financial burden of training costs.

They currently include canoeist Hayleigh Mason, athletes Graham Moffatt and Joss Moffatt and Touch Rugby’s Emily and Phoebe Simon.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Debbie Mason said: “Great sport is one of our cornerstones here in Rushcliffe and so many athletes from across the borough competing on a national level highlights just why.

“It’s very pleasing to offer them facilities free of charge that allows much needed savings on their training costs.

“In many sports the entrance fees and travel costs to competitions alone can be significant so with this support we hope it will assist them maintain and reach new heights in their respective careers with access to our leisure centres.”

Rachel Parish from West Bridgford, who has been selected to represent England at trap shooting at this April’s Commonwealth Games, is also among the scheme participants.

She said: “This is my third Commonwealth Games and I’m thrilled to have been selected again.

“The FANS scheme has helped as it means I can use the gym when it’s cold and dark and I can’t go running outside.

“I balance shooting with a full time job as an emergency medicine doctor so it’s useful to be able to use the gym around shift times, particularly in the winter.”

Luke Colaluca General Manager of Parkwood Leisure sites in Rushcliffe explained the scheme’s participation has increased 167 per cent over the last year since Rushcliffe Arena opened its doors.

He said: “It’s great to be able to support local athletes in this way and make a positive impact on their training ahead of flying the flag for Rushcliffe in national and international events.

“We are always reviewing our facilities to assess where athletes and all leisure centre users can benefit from the range of fitness, swimming, aerobics and classes available.”

To qualify for the scheme, athletes must be a current national sportsperson where ‘national’ is deemed as someone who represents their country or is a member of the national team or listed in the top ten of the national age group in their chosen sport.

They can use any of the centres at Bingham, Cotgrave, East Leake, Keyworth and Rushcliffe Arena.

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