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News from Water Meadows

Mansfield Health Scheme wins a National Fitness Award

Mansfield District Leisure Trust’s (MDLT) Healthy Life scheme has won a major prize at the National Fitness Awards, which were held last week at the Athena event venue in Leicester.

For the great work the scheme has done to help people improve their fitness, recover from injuries, be in the best shape to cope with major surgery, and recover quicker after an operation, MDLT was awarded Best Rehabilitation Facility of the Year.

On the night, Mansfield were represented by Carolyn Hallam, Health & Wellbeing Manager for MDLT, and Alex Kirk, Senior Health & Fitness Advisor at Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex, both of whom have been a big part of the scheme’s success.

Carolyn said:
We’re delighted to win this important award for the work our teams have done across Mansfield. There is huge social value in schemes like ours, with outcomes like less time spent in hospital after an operation, a reduction in the medication people need to take, and overall happier, healthier members.

Alex commented:
I’m so proud to be involved in something like this. The work we do, coupled with the effort and dedication of the people we’re helping genuinely changes lives.

Since 2016, we’ve helped over 550 people lead healthier lives via this scheme.”

Jayne Cox, Leisure Manager at Mansfield District Council, said:
Congratulations to the trust and all the team involved in providing the Healthy Life scheme. It is fantastic that Mansfield residents have the opportunity to benefit from this award-winning support. It is testament to the dedication of the trust’s team and the participants themselves that so many people have become fitter and healthier as a result.

The year’s National Fitness Awards were the 10th anniversary of this prestigious event, with the theme of the night being Winter Wonderland. Guests were treated to a spectacular acrobatics show, with dancers dressed as mythical beasts hanging from the ceiling, in a setting straight out of a fairytale. The awards are organised by Script Events in conjunction with leading fitness industry magazine Workout, with support from headline sponsor ServiceSport.

It has been a great year for the Mansfield centres in terms of awards, with Oak Tree Leisure Centre winning, for the second year in succession, Club/Centre of the Year (Midlands) at the ukactive awards, held in Manchester earlier in 2019.

For more information on the Healthy Life scheme and how it might be able to help you, please contact Carolyn Hallam on 07718 194 711, or email for more details.


Dementia Friendly Swimming Sessions at Water Meadows, Mansfield

From the 9th October 2019 sessions run from 9am to 10am each Wednesday at the leisure centre.

The sessions will become part of the swim timetable so are open to anyone, but as 9am-10am is generally a quieter time, it has been decided to designate this the dementia-friendly hour. 

All staff on duty supporting the sessions have completed Dementia Friends training.

Carolyn Hallam, Health & Wellbeing Manager for the Mansfield District Leisure Trust (MDLT), who along with managing agent, Serco Leisure, operate the centre, said: “With so many of our staff now trained via Dementia Friends, we felt now was a great time to add this session for people living with dementia. We’re the only site offering this service in the local area, so we’re expecting plenty of interest.

“Family, friends and carers of people living with dementia are welcome to join in and the café is open afterwards if people want to stay longer and have a drink and a chat.”

All four MDLT centres are working towards becoming Dementia Friendly, with 30 members of staff already trained as Dementia Friends. MDLT is also part of Ashfield and Mansfield Dementia Action Alliance.

For more details about the sessions, or other sessions at Water Meadows, please contact Carolyn Hallam on 07718 194 711 or email:

Changes to the pool programmes at Water Meadows and Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centres 

Following discussions with Mansfield District Council and Nova Swimming Squad we will be making some changes to our regular swimming programme from week commencing Monday 6 April 2019.

The changes relate to the following times
   *    Wednesday between 5:30pm and 8:00pm (Nova Swim Squad moving pools and adjustment to times)
   *    Sunday from 12:30 to 5:30pm (additional public swim times added at Rebecca Adlington SC)




The amazing inflatable AquaChallenge lands at Water Meadows

For people who want more from their pool time, Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex is introducing the inflatable obstacle course for the whole family - AquaChallenge!

An inflatable on the water, 30 metres long with Basher Wall, Demolition Ball, Spikey Hump and many more obstacles for you to try to get over or around. The AquaChallenge has proven popular wherever it’s been staged, and following a well-received taster day at Water Meadows, it looks like the people of Mansfield are going to be super keen to take this challenge on.

Darren Kissane, Commercial Manager for Serco Leisure, which operates Water Meadows on behalf of the Mansfield District Leisure Trust said:

“Just in time for the warmer weather, we’re heating things up in the water with this brand new pool-based attraction.

“We’ve already had a taster day to get photos and video footage, and the kind of feedback we’re getting is priceless. Kids and adults love the AquaChallenge and it adds another dimension to our aquatics offering in Mansfield.

“I’d recommend booking soon, as places will fill up fast once people see how much fun this is. I can see this being a massive hit at Water Meadows!”

The AquaChallenge is for anyone aged 6* and above. It launches on Sunday April 7th, sessions last one hour, plus customers get a free 40 minutes in the Pirate Pool, with its flumes and waves.

*Children aged 6-7 years and/or older children that are non/weak swimmers will need to be accompanied by an active adult (16+years) participant.

Children aged 8+ that are competent swimmers can take on the challenge without direct supervision from an adult - but it’s much more fun to beat your mum or dad across the obstacle course!

For full details of what days you can attempt the AquaChallenge, visit the Water Meadows website, and booking needs to be made in advance, call: 0345 0000 232, or online >




Community Sports Project celebrates 3 years of success

A recently ended local sports project tasked with helping inactive people in Mansfield become more active is celebrating 3 years of continued success. Since starting in 2016, the Sport England-funded Community Sports Project (CSP) has reached over 1,000 people each year, and now has over 200 people a week regularly engaged in sport and activity sessions throughout the town.

CSP was run by Mansfield District Leisure Trust (MDLT); its aim was to encourage all sectors of the community to take part in sport and exercise at locations throughout the town, as well as at the trust’s 4 leisure centres.

The project offered activities for all ages and abilities, including Family Football, Chair-based Exercise and Forever Fit classes for the over 60s.

Many people also had the chance to try free taster sessions of tennis and football in parks and community venues, and at events such as the Great British Tennis Weekend and various local summer festivals.

Carolyn Hallam Sports and Community Development Manager for MDLT said:

“We’re delighted with the success of this project. We wanted to attract people to sport and fitness who might feel it isn’t something for them. And that’s exactly what we did. It’s all about running sessions that people want, in places they can get to and at times that are convenient.

“I would like to thank Sport England for funding this project. Many of the sessions have proven such a success that we’ll be continuing with them, ensuring there is lasting legacy for the Community Sports Project in Mansfield.”

Colin Gregory who takes part twice a week in Walking Football sessions at Oak Tree Leisure Centre said:

“The sessions make me fitter and keep my weight down. We have a good group of players and the sessions are social as well as sporty. Being able to play a competitive game at my age makes me feel 30 not 60!”

Sessions that are continuing include yoga, which runs weekly at St Teresa’s Church Hall in Warsop, as well as in the leisure centres, plus Walking Football, Short Tennis, T’Chi Do, Clubbercise, Learning Disability Swim Sessions and Family Football.  The social activity sessions Feel Good Friday at Mansfield Museum and Fit Together at the Shed in Warsop are also continuing.

The project worked in partnership with various organisations, including Reach Learning Disability, Vibrant Warsop, Mansfield District Council Parks Department and Mansfield Museum.

MDLT runs 4 leisure centres on behalf of Mansfield District Council. These are River Maun, Water Meadows, Oak Tree and the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre.

For further information about any of the continuing activities, visit or contact Carolyn Hallam on 07718 194 711 -

Sept 2018

Filling in fitness survey pays off for Christine

Water Meadows regular Christine Kowalczuk had forgotten all about the Serco Leisure survey she'd filled in back in July, asking for her feedback on what she wants from a fitness facility.

It was a national survey, which went to thousands of people, so when we rang to give her the good news, that she'd been picked from the hat to win shopping vouchers, she was over the moon.

Here she is with her Bonus Bond gift card. Spend it wisely, Christine!

August 2018

Water Meadows swimmers channel crossing for autism awareness

Four Water Meadows regulars: Sarah Dunsbee and husband Tim, Cara Saunders and Jack Overton, plus friends Anna Lord and Piers Martin will be attempting to swim the English Channel this month to raise money for local charity, Autism East Midlands, and raise awareness of the condition, which affects over 46,000 people living in the region.

With channel crossings being so dependent on wind conditions, Sarah and her team have a window of August 9th to August 17th to begin their attempt. This isn’t the Dunsbee’s first channel swim though. They completed the 21-mile crossing in 2015, and once again will be swimming to raise awareness of a condition that affects them and so many other families in the UK.

One of Tim and Sarah’s children, Hayley has autism and both parents are keen to promote awareness of this sometimes misunderstood condition.

Tim Dunsbee, who coaches the England Men’s Water Polo Team said:

“To support people with autism means a lot to me. After having our daughter Hayley, we found a world that needs as much help as possible.”

Darren Kissane, Commercial Manager for Mansfield District Leisure Trust, which runs Water Meadows along with its managing agent, Serco Leisure, added:

“Swimming the channel once is a real achievement, but attempting it again just shows the dedication of Sarah, Tim and their team.

“This is an important cause, so anyone wanting to support Sarah, just head over to her Just Giving page and donate. And good luck from everyone at Water Meadows!”

Sarah’s Just Giving page has a target of £6,000. As it stands, the team are over 60% of the way there for this fundraising drive, with almost £4,000 raised so far.

Jack Knight, Marketing & Communications Officer for Autism East Midlands commented:

Autism East Midlands is extremely grateful for the support of Sarah and the team. Their fundraising of £4,000 already could provide 50 support sessions for autistic children with our Clinical Team and another £2,000 could fund one-to-one advice sessions for 10 families affected by autism.

We are extremely grateful for this financial support but we are also thankful for the awareness the team have raised, as this monster event will help people to talk and learn about autism.”

May 2018

Bethany’s big swim to support cancer research and remember her grandpa

Forest Town’s Bethany Woolley (12) will be swimming one mile for charity on May 6th at the Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex to remember her beloved grandpa, Papa Albert, who lost his life to cancer in January this year. Her other grandpa, Papa Dennis is currently being treated for the disease.

Bethany and her mum Nicola have set up a JustGiving page with all money going to support Cancer Research, Marie Curie and the Swimathon Foundation.

Bethany said:

“Like a lot of families, mine has been affected by cancer. Papa Albert sadly passed away in January and Papa Dennis is currently undergoing treatment.

I wanted to do something positive in memory of Papa Albert, and also support the research into cancer, which could help my other grandpa. I’ve set up a JustGiving page, so if people want to give something, however small, I would be really grateful.

I’ve been training at Water Meadows for six weeks. The staff there have been really supportive of my swim challenge.”

Phil Bower, Duty Manager at Water Meadows, which is operated by Serco Leisure on behalf of the Mansfield District Leisure Trust said:

“It is with great pride that we are able to help Bethany and her family in such an amazing cause. When I was told of Bethany’s challenge, it was an honour and pleasure to give our support.

We’ve all lost loved ones or been effected by cancer in some shape or form. This is Bethany’s moment and we are all behind her 100%.”

Bethany’s mum, Nicola said:

“I’m right behind Bethany with her swimming challenge. Papa Dennis is so proud of her for doing this big swim, and I know Papa Albert would have been too.”

If people would like to contribute towards Bethany’s target, her JustGiving page is here - Bethany Woolley