New figures show how Fife’s sport and leisure centres are recovering after lockdown

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Fifers are returning to the region’s leisure centres post-lockdown, according to the latest figures.

Fife Sport and Leisure Trust posted a recovery rate of 104% at its facilities between January and March this year.

But its chief executive warned that the impact of lockdown and restrictions brought significant challenges which will continue to have an impact on services.

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The trust - which manages Fife’s leisure centres, swimming pools and gyms - gave the update this week.

Kirkcaldy Leisure CentreKirkcaldy Leisure Centre
Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

And it revealed that venues such as Pitreavie Athletics Centre, Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre in Glenrothes, Levenmouth Swimming Pool and Sports Centre, and Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre all showed the highest recovery rates.

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Group fitness classes saw a recovery rate of 67% - up 16% on last quarter - and gym attendances were up 84%.

Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre recorded just over 180,000 visitors in 2021-22 - a huge rise on the 35,000 which it welcomed when pandemic restrictions were in place.

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The Esplanade facility’s last uninterrupted year of operations,2019-20 saw 252,000 visitors.

The Beacon Leisure Centre in Burntisland, which was the last one to re-open after lockdown, logged some 64,000 visits.

During the pandemic, the centre closed completely, and was only able operate its outdoor pitches for three months, resulting in just 847 users.

Across Fife, the trust’s award-winning health programme, which supports people living with long-term health conditions, recorded a recovery rate of 85% for the quarter, while its Learn to Swim programme continued to perform well, recording the highest number of attendances with over 7,906 participants.

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Emma Walker, chief executive, said: “We welcome the return of near normal operating conditions, but the trust is still very much in a recovery phase from a very difficult period.

“Like many trusts across Scotland, the Covid pandemic has brought about significant challenges following lockdowns and restrictions which will continue to have an impact on how we deliver services.

“However, the figures for the reporting period show that local communities are keen to get active and make use of the trust facilities and services and I would encourage people to continue to support community sports and leisure facilities in order that provision is sustained for the long term.

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