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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Healthy Minds and Healthy Bodies.

I was sitting outside a leisure centre some years ago waiting for Sarah, I looked at the leisure centre and thought `educational consent’. Education consent, in planning terms, means that a lesson can be offered. This could be lessons in swimming, fencing, badminton, dance, bowls – and even education.

This would be a safe environment for parents to be able to leave their children. Parents could even bribe their children with a swim or some other coveted activity or past time. So there are a large number of parents and children who every now and again should spare a thought for Sarah. I know I do. Thank you Sarah.

Leisure centres come in all shape and sizes. We work in a range of centres from those run by Local Authorities to private chains. Some of the centres have had the benefit of the lottery and others `PFI funding’ – which is where the private sector put up the money to develop the centre. Other centres seem to be waiting for something to happen.

Our lessons also take place in a wide range of facilities. In some centres we work in the board room with leather chairs. In others we are offered the crèche. Our staff is expert at folding tables and collapsible chairs.

We meet a wide range of staff. There always seem to be many changes of reception staff. Duty managers come and go. We have most contact with the recreation assistants who prepare the room for us and then put all the equipment away.

Some of our teachers use the leisure centre facilities – indeed we have recruited some first class staff who deliver the lessons to our children and then go off to the gym.

We are also very aware of parents leaving their children with us while they disappear to do an hour of step or have a swim or work out in the gym.

You know they say there is a connection between healthy minds and healthy bodies.

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