Kirkcaldy’s new pool helps boost visits to Fife centres

Fifers are being encouraged to get active. Pic: Kenny Smith
Fifers are being encouraged to get active. Pic: Kenny Smith

More people across Fife are getting active, with overall attendances at Fife Council’s sports and leisure centres continuing to grow.

And the new Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre has made a significant contribution to that growth, with the number of visits to the town’s facilities up by 51 per cent in 2013-14 compared to the previous year.

In 2012-13, Kirkcaldy’s old swimming pool attracted 131,309 visits.

The old pool closed at the beginning of August 2013, while the new leisure centre didn’t open until the end of September. However, despite that gap of almost two months, the number of visits in 2013-14 rose to 190,513.

In total, across all 13 centres run by Fife Sports and Leisure Trust on behalf of the Council in 2013-14 attendances rose by 13.66 per cent, with a total of 2,403,648 visits, an increase of 288,808.

Ed Watson, chief executive for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “The Trust’s latest performance figures are confirmation that the organisation is continuing to deliver facilities and programmes which are attractive and affordable – to see more and more people enjoy our leisure centres is the best feedback we could ask for.

“The 2013-14 period saw a lot of commitment and hard work on the part of staff, particularly with regards the opening of two new leisure centres in Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes, and I would like to thank them for their professionalism and dedication in continuing to provide the highest standards in customer service.

“The Trust has recently set out its corporate strategy for the next three years, and, we are committed to engaging with all ages and abilities to increase participation in physical activity to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities across the region.”

Across the board, swimming pool attendances were up 4.5 per cent, the use of other indoor facilities – such as gyms and sports halls – rose by 22 per cent, and the use of outdoor facilities was up 21.32 per cent.

All user group age categories recorded increases too, with particularly the over 60s, which was up 58 per cent.

Initiatives such as Quid-a-Kid weekends and free summer swimming has helped boost attendances in the under-18 age group.

The trust has also developed health and physical activity programmes, including a range of referral-based programmes designed to help people suffering from long-term health conditions such as diabetes, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as cardiac rehabilitation for patients, and a new programme for people who are undergoing, or who have completed, cancer treatment.