DUKINFIELD played host to World and European 800m medallist Jenny Meadows at the official opening of iTRAIN on Saturday.
iTRAIN is a state-of-the-art gym and the latest facility to be launched as a result of Tameside Council and Active Tameside’s £20 million investment in leisure centres. In addition to the 150 station gym, accessible 24/7 thanks to high-tech fingerprint recognition technology, the former Active Dukinfield site also hosts a health food café and coffee bar, members’ lounge with free wi-fi, community meeting space and soft play centre iPLAY which will soon be complemented by a crèche facility.
The ground floor gym area includes a 60 metre indoor running track which provides an alternative to the treadmill. The special running track surface is easier on joints and better simulates running outdoors for those training for a competitive race. Champion athlete Jenny led the first training session, dubbed iRUN, on the new track with a number of willing participants from the special guests.
Tameside Council’s executive member for healthy and working, Cllr Ged Cooney, said, “We have invested this money in this and other leisure facilities because the council is determined to drive up participation in physical activity among Tameside residents.
"All of the evidence suggests that being active can significantly reduce the risk of developing a range of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and even cancer. Acting now could reduce the demand on health services in the long term and more importantly enable more local people to lead longer, healthier lives.”
The refurbishment of the Dukinfield centre cost £2.3 million and took only six months. While the official opening was on Saturday the centre has been open since January and has already attracted in excess of 1,300 new members, bringing Active Tameside’s total membership to more than 10,000.
Mark Tweedie, chief executive of Active Tameside, which manages and operates the centre on behalf of the council, said: “This has been a major project that has taken us six months to complete. I think everyone will agree that the results have been worth it and it demonstrates our commitment to investing in our centres for the community and the future.”
Jenny, who is a popular motivational speaker and event host following her retirement from competitive running, was one of a number of special guests at the launch of the state-of-the-art 24/7 fitness suite. Others in attendance included the executive leader of Tameside Council, Cllr Kieran Quinn; deputy leader and Active Tameside board member Cllr John Taylor; and the MP for Denton and Reddish, Andrew Gwynne.
iTRAIN’s opening comes after the launch of Total Adrenaline in Longdendale before Christmas, and will be followed by the opening of a new swimming pool in Hyde and ultimately the new Denton Wellness Centre.
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