Local sporting heroes showcase new facilities for Basildon locals

Over 500 local people headed to the official opening of two exciting new sports facilities where they got to try the sports for free.

Eversley Leisure Centre welcomed members of the public down to their new 3G football pitches and the state-of-the-art gymnastics hall. The Mayor of Basildon, Cllr David Dadds cut the ribbon to open the event before getting involved in the football and gymnastics sessions.

Olympic bronze medallist Amy Tinkler was joined by her South Essex Gymnastics Club (SEGC) team-mates Jay Thompson, Reiss Beckford, Brinn Bevan, Hayden Skinner, Tommy Nicolaou, Halle Hilton and Sophie Goodman to showcase the sport to the people of Basildon.

On the football pitches, Bowers Football Club hosted a couple of friendly games against Canvey FC. The public were then invited to take part in coaching sessions and crossbar challenges with Everyone Active colleagues.

The open day was a culmination of hard work to ensure the facilities are some of the best in the region. A total of £570,000 was invested into Eversley Leisure Centre by Basildon Council while SEGC invested £300,000 into the gymnastics hall and a contribution of more than £123,900 was made by Veolia Pitsea Marshes Maintenance Trust

Mayor of Basildon, Cllr David Dadds, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people at the event and a great honour to cut the ribbon and usher in a new dawn for local sport. This top class facility is a real positive step for the people of Pitsea and across the borough.”

Together, Basildon Council, Everyone Active and SEGC are aiming to get more people engaged in sports and activity within the area by giving them more access to high-quality, improved facilities.

Garry Firth, Eversley Leisure Centre’s General Manager, said: “It was great to see so many people from the community come down to join us for the open day.

“The new and improved facilities are fantastic and to see so many members of the public enjoying them made the hard work worthwhile. We hope that the community found a sport that they loved and will continue to do in the future.”

Verity Adams, SEGC Assistant Director of Coaching, said: “We had a fun packed day at the opening of the new South Essex Gymnastics Club with local families trying out the facilities for the first time.

“It was lovely to see so many people of all ages and abilities trying their hand at gymnastics. We had displays from gymnasts, along with a session for the Sport for Confidence group.

“The mayor tried his hand at the rings and asymmetric bars and the family drop-in centre was a huge success. The centre was buzzing and there was a great atmosphere in the air.  It was a great opportunity for the local community to see what we have to offer.  We are happy to say that the opening was very well received in the community and a great success.”