December 12, 2015
New-look Highbridge sports centre to open after £450k refurbishment

Highbridge's King Alfred Sports Centre is set to open its new facilities next week following a £450,000 refurbishment project.

The centre has been equipped with state-of-the-art interactive fitness technology, which is the first to be installed on a school site in the UK.

The facilities have been transformed with investment from leisure firm 1610 and Somerset County Council.

The building was severely damaged by flooding in the summer of 2014, forcing part of the centre to be closed temporarily to allow the refurbishment work to take place.

Hannah and Lauren Bird from Burnham-On-Sea, who are members of Britain's water skiing team, will officially open the centre's new dance and fitness studio on Tuesday 15th December at 10am.

Following the opening of the new facilities a number of VIPs including Spanish representatives from Prama’s HQ, Technogym, and members of Somerset County Council will tour the new studio and gym where 1610 staff will demonstrate the new equipment.

Year 10 Pupils from King Alfred School have already been given a sneak preview of the equipment ahead of the official opening. They were the first schoolchildren in the UK to try out the new Prama technology.

Under the Sport England FANS scheme, Hannah Bird, 16, and Lauren Bird, 14, as members of Team GB will have free access to the facilities at King Alfred Sports Centre where they will train.

Their father and water skiing coach Steve Bird says that the girls are very excited to open the new facilities. "It's absolutely fantastic to be able to use this sort of equipment as training in the gym five days a week can be monotonous - so to be able to use a system that is so versatile and can bring new elements to their training is brilliant," he said. "It will be an invaluable tool for their preparation for the European Championships next year."

The General Manager of the King Alfred Sports Centre, Matt Harras, said the new Prama technology has inspired the pupils and staff at the school.

"It was wonderful to see the reaction of the pupils trying out the equipment for the first time and they were lucky enough to be the first in the UK to have access to such leading edge technology on their doorstep. Both staff and students have taken to the new technology with enthusiasm. Now the wider community in Highbridge will also be able to enjoy the new technology which will revolutionise the way they work out in the future."

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