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By Geoff Berkeley Monday 10 December 2012 Updated: 11/12 15:23
OLYMPIC rower Zac Purchase believes a new multi-million pound fitness and sports club in Worcester will play a crucial role in helping to meet the growing number of people wanting to participate in sport.
The former King's School Worcester pupil, who won silver at the London Games this summer and gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the men's lightweight double sculls, was given the honour of officially opening the David Lloyd Leisure Club next to Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium on Wednesday (December 5).
The state-of-the-art complex features three indoor and five outdoor tennis courts as well an indoor and outdoor pool, a 900 square metre gym, three exercise studios and a wet spa area.
And Mr Purchase, 26, who also spent time with about 40 pupils from King’s Hawthorn and King’s St Albans school, said the centre's arrival could not have come at a better time following a bumper year of British sporting success.
"It is all about coping with the demand," he said.
"There are rowing clubs across the country which are massively over-subscribed and I am sure that is the case with loads of other sports. To have an opportunity for people try out something new and challenge themselves in a different way is really important, so it is great that this is here."
"It has been three months since the London Games and we have had a strong Olympic legacy during that time, but it is 2012 so the excitement is still there."
"When it comes to next year that is when it becomes the real challenge - to keep that energy going and for people to maximise the opportunities that are available."
Scott Lloyd, chief executive of David Lloyd Leisure, told the Standard he was delighted to finally open the club in Worcester after a seven-year process.
"With our new clubs we are always trying to evolve them and making them big and better than the last one," he said.
"I am very proud of some of the things that we have achieved here. We know the area very well as we have a club in neighbouring Bromsgrove and we have always been attracted to the city."
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