December newsletter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! We hope that you had an enjoyable and restful festive period, that Santa brought you exactly what you wanted and that you’re looking forward to all the good things 2017 has in store for you. It wasn’t just Santa that was snowed under on the run up to Christmas, the Leisure Centre was a hive of activity with more in common with the North Pole than one might imagine…

The heating system
We were so relieved when our brand new all-singing-all-dancing heating system was installed within the scheduled time. Compliments were coming in thick and fast about both the water and air temperature and there was a real sense of achievement on Fank Brae. Then it all went horribly wrong when on Thursday 8th December the temperature of the water and the Leisure Centre as a whole plummeted to arctic levels. It was really disappointing having to close the swimming pool and share the news with the community after their patience over the original three-week closure, but thankfully by the following Wednesday, the problem had been resolved and the pool had heated back up to a balmy 30°C. Phew. We now have two fully functioning boiler systems so if one fails us, we have backup. We don’t want to tempt fate, but we’re confident that this will never happen again. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Acharacle residents
We were upset to hear that word of the pool being closed hadn’t reached our Acharacle customers, some of which had made the long journey to Mallaig to enjoy a nice swim. We had updated the website and Facebook, but we understand that not everybody has internet access; therefore, we thought it might be a good idea for residents of Acharacle, Glenuig, Knoydart and the Islands to provide us with contact details so we can get in touch directly in the event of us having to close the Leisure Centre again.

New gym
We are really excited to announce that a brand new, state of the art gym has finally been ordered and is set to be delivered and fitted on Monday 13th February. I think anybody who regularly uses the gym at the Leisure Centre will agree that this is desperately necessary and we can’t wait for it to arrive.

Our brand new membership scheme started on 1st December and we’re pleased to say that it has really taken off. It’s wonderful to see so many new faces at the Leisure Centre and even better to know that the community is taking their first steps towards a healthy 2017.

If you feel that we could offer something new or improve on our current services, now’s your chance to share your thoughts. We’ve popped a little feedback box into the spectator room to encourage you to tell us what you would like to see more or less of at the Leisure Centre. The feedback forms are completely anonymous and any feedback will be hugely appreciated. Alternatively, just drop us an email or call in and let us know as we’re here for the community and it’s important for us to offer the best service possible.

We were really sad to lose Katie MacDiarmid and Duncan Biddulph in December, but the Leisure Centre’s loss is the Mackintosh Centre and the Bakehouse’s gain and we wish them all the very best in their new careers.

New prices
With the price of goods and services rising left, right and centre, unfortunately we’ve had to alter our prices a little too. It’s not all bad though as where standard adult prices have gone up by an average of 50p, we have driven the price of concessions down by an average of 30p. We have also decided that in an effort to encourage financially squeezed families and individuals in the community to have access to the facilities, we have introduced three ‘Happy Hour’ slots per week where the price for any of our services will be 50p. The agreed Happy Hour days/times are Wednesday mornings between 9am and 10am, Friday evenings between 5pm and 6pm and Saturday afternoons between 1.30pm and 2.30pm. On top of this, if you or any members of your household are entitled to certain benefits, then we will only charge 50p per activity at the Leisure Centre at any time.

New timetable
Initially we were going to re-open the Leisure Centre on Tuesday 3rd January; however, we’ve decided to complete some staff training on Wednesday 4th meaning our new timetable will come into effect on Thursday 5th January and will run until Wednesday 5th April 2017. The timetable can be viewed on our website or you can get hold of a copy at reception. We have endeavoured to make sure the timetable suits the entire community and we hope that there is something for everyone.

The Santa Dash and 50/50 raffle
Over thirty participants donned their Santa outfits and ran from Morar train station to the Steam Inn where a wonderful afternoon of mulled wine and mince pies by a roaring fire was enjoyed. During this time, the 50:50 raffle was drawn and the lucky winner was Alice MacNeil from Knoydart! Congratulations Alice on winning a huge £512. As promised, the Leisure Centre was gifted the other £512 so celebrations all round! Thank you very much to the staff at the Steam Inn for providing the mulled wine and such a great atmosphere.

Fitness classes
Unfortunately, with such a lack of available instructors in the area, we are unable to offer the variety and frequency of fitness classes that we’d like. As many of you will know, we currently run a Body Blast class, Aqua Aerobics and Circuit Training on a Monday and Yoga on a Tuesday and we are working towards training staff to become instructors. In fact, Mairi has signed up to complete the spinning and HIITs training in February so from February onwards we’ll be able to offer more variety so do bear with us. In the meantime, we’re going to offer pop-up fitness classes for our members. These classes will run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Wednesday and Friday mornings and each session will incorporate a different fitness class, which will be streamed directly into our fitness studio.

You would think that December would be a month where people were conscious of tightening their belts and therefore we expected December’s fundraising total to be far lower than our average. Well, it turned out that we were drastically wrong! £512 from the 50:50 raffle, £50 from Morar WRI, £27.20 from the good people of Acharacle, £164 from the Santa Dash and a whopping £10,000 from Awards for All came our way and we couldn’t be more grateful. That’s a huge December total of £10,761.20! If you would like to keep abreast of the fundraising, check out our JustGiving page at:

Swimming lessons
Term 3’s swimming lessons begin the week commencing 16th January. If your child has been enrolled onto the block, you should have been contacted with their lesson date and time. If this information hasn’t reached you, please get in touch and we’ll get that information to you as soon as possible. All group swimming lessons are included in our all-inclusive membership.

Snorkelling lessons
Snorkelling lessons will begin on Saturday 21st at 2.30pm. These lessons are great for anybody over the age of eight who are looking to learn how to snorkel. Snorkelling lessons are also included in our all-inclusive membership.

Wise Craic
If you’re part of the community’s ‘wiser’ demographic and are looking to embrace a healthier, fitter and more sociable 2017, Wise Craic could be just what you’re looking for. Every Tuesday between 11am and 12.30pm the Leisure Centre is open solely for the wiser folk in the community! Come and swim, jacuzzi, sauna or use the gym and enjoy soup followed by tea, coffee, biscuits and a catch up in the spectator room afterwards. This is a free weekly event, but donations are always gratefully received. Please get in touch and let us know if you’ll be attending.

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