November newsletter

Although the swimming pool was closed for building works for the majority of November, life was as busy as ever at the Leisure Centre. Remaining true to November tradition, we inadvertently celebrated Guy Fawkes Night and the infamous Gunpowder Plot in our own unique way when our ancient relic of a boiler spewed out the equivalent of thirty-six barrels of soot when it was getting removed!

It’s cold outside…
…however, it’s positively balmy at the Leisure Centre. On Monday 7th November, the Korries Plumbing team arrived to install our super duper heating system. Our old oil burner was removed and replaced with a brand new efficient version, which we need for backup in the event of the Biomass system failing. On top of that, a new air handling unit has been installed, which will circulate warm air to areas of the building where we need it most (swimming pool hall, changing rooms, shower area etc). The team at Korries were absolutely fantastic and even affected a major cleanup operation after the ‘gunpowder’ incident. We thoroughly enjoyed having Korries around and would highly recommend the company as they proved to be professional, reliable, efficient and really good fun. We will definitely use them again in the future.

Christmas opening times
The Leisure Centre will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day before reopening on 27th December – 30th December from 12pm – 4pm. We will also be open on New Year’s Eve from 12pm – 3pm with swimming, fitness classes and the gym open as normal from Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

Swimming lessons
Just a little reminder that the final swimming lesson of term 2 ends on 14th December. Term 3’s swimming lessons will begin the week beginning 16th January 2017 and parents will be contacted with their child’s allocated spot before the Christmas break.

New gym
It has been decided that it is an absolute necessity for our poor old gym to be brought into the 21st Century as soon as possible. Therefore, the gym and fitness studio will have a lick of paint and new flooring, but best of all, brand new gym equipment will be getting ordered and installed early next year.

New reception
With our fancy new heating system and our gym and fitness studio scheduled to be whipped into shape, the more we gazed at our bleak and uninspiring reception area, the more we realised that something had to change there too. We currently have big plans for the top floor of the Leisure Centre to be converted into a new reception area, café and community hub; however, we are unable to progress with this work until we raise more money throughout 2017. As most of you are probably aware, the current reception setup looks very similar to a visitors’ area in an American prison where a huge pane of glass separates our staff from Leisure Centre users. I think most of you would agree that this unwelcoming arrangement needs to be addressed as soon as possible and as a temporary measure, we’ve decided to take down the glass and give the reception area a bit of a makeover to create a more open, welcoming and positive space for staff and customers alike. This work is scheduled to begin early next year.

Throughout November, Leisure Centre staff have been beavering away at improving the service they offer to Leisure Centre users. We were really pleased when the lovely Donna MacIver agreed to join the team and we were double pleased when she passed her NPLQ and Swim Teacher Training, which means we now have another committed swimming instructor in the team. Great to have you onboard Donna! We were also super impressed when assistant manager, Mairi, passed her Fitness Instructor exam, which means we now have another member of staff who is qualified to take fitness classes, so expect lots more on the weekly timetable over the coming months! Paula, our marketing administrator, travelled down to Perth to attend an Event Organisers course and brought back lots of useful information and knowledge which will hopefully help make 2017’s Road to the Isles Half Marathon the most successful yet.

New subscription scheme
With all the changes afoot, we are really excited to offer the community the opportunity to take advantage of our brand new membership scheme. Signing up for membership at Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre means that all-inclusive members benefit from full access to the swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, gym, fitness classes plus swimming lessons for adults and children all for £20 per month for adults and £29 per month for an entire family (two adults with an unlimited number of children)! On top of all that, because we’ve teamed up with High Life Highland, you can also use your Mallaig Pool & Leisure card at leisure centres across the Highlands and to gain entry into a number of libraries, museums and much more! There’s no minimum contract length, no joining fee or hidden costs and what’s more, by signing up you’re helping to support your local leisure centre. As an extra added incentive, if you sign up before 15th December we’ll give you the month of December completely free. What are you waiting for!

Santa Dash – Saturday 10th December
It’s time to dust off your Santa suits and come and join us for our annual charity 5k Santa Dash! Our fun, free, festive and family orientated event is open to everyone and we’re hoping for a bumper turnout with better weather this year. So what are you waiting for? Why not don your Santa hat, wrap some tinsel around your neck and walk, jog or run from Morar train station to the Steam Inn in Mallaig where a roaring fire, a cauldron of mulled wine and warm mince pies will await. There will be no entry fees as we will be collecting donations for the refurbishment at the Steam Inn instead. The Santa Dash starts at 12pm at Morar train station and there’s a bus that leaves Mallaig at 11am, which will get you to the start line in time. Unfortunately, there’s no public transport from Arisaig, but do get in touch and we’ll see if we can organise transport for you. Drop into the Leisure Centre to fill in your entry form.

We didn’t think it was possible to even come close to October’s fundraising efforts, but once again November proved that the people of the area are a mega generous bunch!
The team at Arisaig Hotel hosted their first ever clothes swap shop on Thursday 17th and all donations on the night came directly to us. The kind people of Arisaig donated a total of £114.16 and walked away with bags upon bags of great clothes.
Even though the swimming pool was closed for the majority of November, our little blue charity box in our reception still managed to be filled with £77!
The Friends of Mallaig Swimming Pool’s ‘Hats, Gloves and Ties’ event on Saturday 19th proved to be a roaring success. All those delicious afternoon teas brought in a whopping total of just over £300 and everybody had a wonderful afternoon.
It wasn’t just local fundraising that was going on throughout November, we were also really grateful to receive a letter from the Green Business Fund saying that they were going to award us £10,000 to go towards purchasing energy saving equipment!
Altogether, just over £10,500 was raised in November. Thank you all very much : )

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