Ten Acres Leisure Centre in Newton Heath now proudly boasts a state of the art martial arts facility following a joint initiative by Manchester City Council, Sport England, Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust and GB Taekwondo.
The former sports hall at the centre has been transformed into a fully matted martial arts venue following investment, secured by GB Taekwondo, from Sport England and UK Sport. This investment enabled the transformation of the sports hall which hosts an exciting range of community martial arts sessions as well as being the home of Great Britain’s Taekwondo athletes in the build up to the London 2012 Olympics.
A fantastic new part of this community usage includes a new primary schools programme being coordinated and delivered by Manchester City Council and GB Taekwondo. Weekly sessions offer pupils from local primary schools the chance to receive top quality coaching in a range of martial arts as part of the council’s Passport to Sport programme, giving youngsters the chance to train in the same facilities as elite, world class athletes.
Local residents of all ages can also try their hand at a range of different martial arts at the centre, including kickboxing, kickjitsu and mixed martial arts. The sessions are provided by a number of community groups and are suitable for all the family. The intention in time is also to provide a range of other community sport and physical activities beyond martial arts, establishing the facilities programme as unique to Newton Heath.
The centre will also be joining in with the wider celebrations around the Olympic Countdown Weekend next month. On Sunday 24th July, all Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust managed leisure centres in the city will be opening their doors for residents to come in and try the activities on offer there for free, helping to celebrate one year to go until the London Olympic Games.
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Lead Member for Culture and Leisure said, “This new facility provides a fantastic opportunity for local residents to access a World Class Training facility on their doorstep. The activity programme will provide the aspiration and inspiration for young people to look towards representing Great Britain at the Olympics, as well as a community focussed Martial Arts programme for all ages and abilities, at affordable rates.”
Rebecca Livesey, Interim Chief Executive at the Manchester Sport & Leisure Trust said, “The work that has been carried out at Ten Acres Leisure Centre has really created a valuable addition to the Newton Heath community which we are working hard to make sure is well used by local residents as well as by the elite GB Taekwondo athletes. The new schools programme is just one part of this work, offering fantastic opportunities to local young children to take part in an engaging sport in a state of the art facility.”
Gary Hall, GB Taekwondo Performance Director said “We’re excited to be working with our Manchester partners to support opportunities for local schools and communities to learn and train at this new facility. Ten Acres Lane is going to be a key component in GB Taekwondo’s preparations for London 2012 but it also has a role to play in helping us identify new talent for future Olympics and World Championships. Thanks to the support of Sport England, Manchester City Council and Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust, local residents and young people are able to share the same training mats as our World Champion Sarah Stevenson and Olympian Michael Harvey and there’s every chance that we might find our future stars right here in Manchester.”