Veteran swimmer Rosemary Caruana was presented with the Senior Award at the ASA Aquatic Awards last November. At the age of 77 and having struggled with a fear of water throughout her life, she was inspired by watching her grandson progressing in the Learn to Swim scheme. Rosemary learnt to swim at Hartham Leisure Centre in just 18 months, and has become an inspiration to staff and members at the centre.
Rosemary’s journey is just one of the many success stories made possible by the opportunities offered at Hartham Leisure Centre. Based in Hertfordshire, the centre is dedicated to providing inclusive activities and services for people of all ages and abilities.
The six-lane 33m main pool, which also incorporates a 25m swimming pool due to a moveable boom and another separate teaching pool, offers swimming lessons as well as a range of water based activities, including aqua aerobics, inflatables sessions for children and Swim 4 Everyone sessions that are open to all.
“We are committed to providing an inclusive atmosphere and swimming sessions for the whole community,” comments centre manager Chris Yearley.
“We offer women only sessions for those over 16, to swim socially or in a lane, and Young at Heart sessions for adults over 50. We also have disability swim sessions, which are instructor-led sessions for disabled swimmers and their carers, with a hoist available if required.
“Our facilities are also available to hire, for private events, birthday parties and swimming competitions,” adds Chris.
Built in the 1970’s originally as an outdoor swimming pool, Hartham Leisure Centre was converted to an indoor pool in the 1990’s before being taken over by the leisure management company Everyone Active in 2009.
The facility now employs 75 members of staff and welcomes over 500,000 visitors each year from across East Hertfordshire, including children from 30 nearby primary schools who use the pool achieve the National Curriculum standard of swimming by the time they leave school at the end of Year six.
“We have a large number of both male and female members, and cater for a wide range of different ages and abilities,” says Chris. “We also have several competitive local swimming clubs who provide coaching to advanced levels for keen swimmers, including Hertford Swimming Club who visit the centre four times per week and Hartham Masters Swimming Club who attend every Saturday morning.”
The routine maintenance of the swimming pool at Hartham is carried out by the centre’s in-house team, while Kingfisher undertakes the water testing and Machair handles the upkeep of the boilers.
Recent refurbishments involved a £150,000 investment to carry out essential maintenance work to the swimming pool in order to maintain the high standard of facilities across the centre. This involved replacing the air handling unit that brings fresh air into the facility to improve the air quality in the swimming pool area.
The work was carried out by local company Flair over the Christmas period to minimise disruption.
Other recent upgrades included a £250k refurbishment at the beginning of 2015, with brand new gym equipment installed as well as new changing facilities.
Chris comments: “We definitely have the scope and potential for future developments, based on our growth in the last six years. We are in the early stages of planning this with the local council, to maximise the offering that we can give to our customers.”
Hartham Leisure Centre
Tel. 01992 584000