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Forest Gate gym gets a thumbs up from residents

PUBLISHED: 17:15 13 April 2016

The Atherton Leisure Centre opened on April 2 in Forest Gate

The Atherton Leisure Centre opened on April 2 in Forest Gate

Archant

Fitness fans have given their seal of approval to the new multi-million pound council run Atherton Leisure Centre.

The state-of-the-art facility on Romford Road, Forest Gate opened on April 2 and replaces the former leisure centre on the same site.

Thanks to a £14.7 million investment the centre boasts a gym, exercise studios, two swimming pools, creche, cafe and a soft play area for children.

And with figures from the first week showing that nearly 3,500 people used the gym, more than 2,000 people visited the pool and 274 youngsters enjoyed a tumble in the soft play area it would seem the investment is a hit with residents.

Working up a sweat in the gym was 24-year-old sales assistant, Natasha Scarlett, from Falmouth Street, Maryland, who is definitely a fan.

“I love all the new equipment,” she said. “The stepper is my favourite, it’s hard.”

“People think the gym is boring, but it’s not,” she added. “When I first came here I thought where are the tvs, but there are screens on the machines. People can watch Jeremy Kyle but I’m not, I’m doing a hiking programme.”

Meanwhile, downstairs in the soft play area a group of mums were keeping and eye on their energetic youngsters.

Amy Mathieson, visiting from Geere Road in Plaistow with two-year-old daughter Scout Mann, said it’s a much needed facility.

She said: “It’s really nice because it encourages all kids of different ages to play together.

“It’s nice to speak to new mums and make new friends. It’s very sociable.”

And if you’re not a gym fan there is no excuse not to keep fit because there are a whole range of classes from body pump to pilates for you to enjoy.

Yoga teacher, Yasmine Curpen who teaches to packed classes three times a week said: “It’s important to offer a balanced schedule of classes because it gives people a chance to try something new.

“Going to the gym and running or lifting weights is great for the body, but you need to take care of your mind as well.”

And the council are certainly confident that the new centre will encourage people to keep fit and take up exercise.

The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, hailed the opening.

He said: “The old centre was not fit for purpose and not good enough for our residents.

“Our residents deserve a modern, accessible, state of the art centre. This is what we promised and that is exactly what we have delivered.”

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