September Newsletter

The month of September is synonymous with the change of the seasons, but it’s not only the turning of the leaves and the drop in temperature we’ve noticed, September has also been a month of change at Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre…

Changes to the timetable

The new autumn/winter timetable came into effect at the beginning of September and appears to have worked really well, with swimming lessons, public swims, wise craic, fun hour and ladies hour being well attended and hopefully enjoyed by all. We are expecting to add some new and exciting classes to the list throughout October so keep an eye on our website or Facebook/Twitter pages for more information.  The gym is now open until 9pm on a Thursday night too.

Changes to Leisure Centre staff

We were all very sad when Murdo Colston flew the Mallaig Leisure Centre nest at the end of September. Murdo has been a great member of the team, but he had to head out into the big bad world to continue his final year reading Sports Coaching at Ayr College.  Hopefully he’ll bring back lots of knowledge and continue working at Mallaig Leisure Centre in the future.  Good luck Murdo!

Good luck also to Sara Selzer who finished her yearlong contract with us at the beginning of September.   Throughout Sara’s time with us she created our great new website and began a successful marketing campaign for the leisure centre, so she’ll be very much missed by us all.  Sara has since relocated to Edinburgh and we wish her well in her new life in Auld Reekie.

We also welcomed Paula Wilkinson at the beginning of September. Paula has taken over marketing duties from Sara and will also be in charge of the leisure centre’s admin.  It’s great to have Paula onboard and we hope she is enjoying her new role.

The staff had a well deserved party in the spectator room to mark the recent changes, where a takeaway from Sunset Thai in Morar and lots of wine was enjoyed. Needless to say, there were a few sore heads in the morning!

Changes to subscriptions

The Mallaig Pool and Leisure Centre team are extremely passionate about the health and wellbeing of the community and after lots of careful consideration we feel that a new, more inclusive subscription scheme is in order to encourage the community to get more active. Most of you will be aware of High Life Highland and the great value their subscription scheme offers both individuals and families alike (£20 per month for individual membership and £29 per month for an entire family). Following discussions with Highlife Highland and careful consideration by the Board of Directors this subscription scheme appears to be the best possible option as it will benefit both the community and Mallaig Pool & Leisure Centre.  Therefore, we have taken the decision to be a ‘strategic partner’ in the delivery of the scheme and by signing up at Mallaig Leisure Centre, you will be supporting us as an independent entity as all funds generated from subscriptions will come directly to us and not the Highland Council.  It is therefore of mega importance that you join the scheme at Mallaig Leisure Centre.  These rates include as many swim, gym, exercise class and swimming lesson sessions as you can handle at your local leisure centre, but also incorporates visits to other leisure centres across the Highlands as well as a plethora of other activities from entry to museums to adult learning courses.  All for just £20/£29!!

Mallaig Leisure staff; Brian, Mairi and Paula, took a trip over to Kyle of Lochalsh Leisure Centre on Monday 18th September to have a look at how a similar sized independent, rural leisure centre implementing the High Life Highland subscription scheme were getting on.  We were really impressed with how the centre had thrived since joining the scheme a few years ago.  Manager, Chris, said “there has been a phenomenal uptake since we went ‘live’ almost five years ago and I would advise [people] to take advantage of this fantastic scheme”.

We are looking to get the subscription scheme up and running at the beginning of December, but we’ll keep our website, Facebook and Twitter pages updated on the progress so keep your eyes peeled for any updates.

Changes to the building

September really was a spectacular month for funding and donations towards our refurbishment programme. As many of you will know, we are appealing for £1.1m worth of funding from a number of trusts and organisations to go towards extensive refurbishment and replacement of essential equipment that will breathe much needed life into the centre and enable us to continue to provide the community with a fantastic resource for the future.  We were absolutely delighted to receive a whopping £275,000 cheque towards the programme from the Highland Council and cannot thank the Highland Council enough.

On top of that giant cheque, we were also extremely touched to discover that the community has really been getting behind the refurbishment programme too. We received well over £10,000 from the public from fundraising, donations and our little blue charity boxes.  A huge thank you to everybody for all your help and support, it truly means so much to us.

There are three main phases to the refurbishment programme and work will start in early November on phase 1, which is the replacement of essential heating and plant equipment to help reduce the energy costs for the centre. We’ll also be having a brand new pool hall air handling unit and heating control system installed.  Unfortunately, the spending is on what most of us would consider fairly boring, behind the scenes improvements, but this work needs to be completed before the fun stuff (café, treatment rooms, community hub etc) gets started.   It’s not all boring, behind the scenes changes though, we are fundraising for brand new gym equipment and the jacuzzi is now in working order J

Changes to the Road to the Isles Half Marathon Route

The Road to the Isles Half Marathon went live at the end of September and we’ve already had lots of participants sign up! We’ve decided to be nice organisers and scrap the torturous hills at both the beginning and end of the route.  The Half Marathon and Walk on the Wild Side will now start at stunning Arisaig House and end in Mallaig.  This will hopefully encourage more first time half marathoners whilst also appealing to experienced runners looking to beat their personal bests.  The Half Marathon takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend on Saturday 29th April 2017 and there will also be a 10k, 5k and Walk on the Wild Side so people of all fitness levels can get involved.

You see, there has been an incredible amount of change happening at the Leisure Centre, but we hope you’ll agree that they are predominantly changes for the better and we’re really excited about witnessing the positive effect these changes will bring over the coming months…


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