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Huge change at K2 as new management wins contract

The centre will be under new management from November this year.

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K2 Crawley will see a huge change later this year as a new management company is set to take over from freedom leisure.

The leisure centre will be under new management from November and is saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.

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Following a competitive procurement process, Crawley Borough Council’s (CBC) Cabinet has agreed to award the contract for running K2 Crawley to Sport and Leisure Management (SLM) Ltd. The company trades as Everyone Active.

Crawley Borough Council say the new management arrangement will save local taxpayers every year. A press release from CBC says SLM will be ‘working in partnership with the council to proactively improve health and wellbeing of the whole community through increased opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity.’

The contract also includes the management and operation of the gym, sports hall and café in the Bewbush Centre and the 3G pitch and pavilion in Broadfield.

In addition to the financial benefits, the Everyone Active proposal is committed to further develop each of the sites through investment and providing high quality services that meet and exceed customer expectations. The company will target 90 per cent customer satisfaction and introduce a quality management system to achieve an excellent rating in year two of the contract and outstanding by year four.

Everyone Active will work in partnership with Crawley Borough Council, sports clubs, stakeholders and partners to deliver innovative programmes that will contribute towards increased participation, providing opportunities from beginner to elite level.

The leisure contractor, who are the longest-established in the UK having been founded in 1987, manage 168 leisure and cultural centres across the UK and are already in partnership with over 58 different local authorities.

Investment to further enhance the facilities has been identified by Everyone Active, which includes improvements to the café facilities, energy efficiency schemes such as an LED replacement lighting scheme, and health and fitness equipment replacement programmes to enhance the customer experience. Staff will also benefit with the introduction of the Living Wage Foundation pay rates in accordance with the council’s commitment as a Living Wage employer.

In preparation for the new contract Crawley Borough Council has invested more than £1m into K2 Crawley. This has included the health and fitness extension, climbing wall improvements making it Olympic ready, additional car parking spaces, a brand new 3G playing surface and a combined heat and power unit which will contribute significantly to reducing the carbon footprint of the building.

More than 1.3 million people use K2 Crawley every year, making it one of the most popular leisure centres in the south east. As well as providing a huge range of sport and fitness activities, K2 Crawley also hosts national and international tournaments.

Everyone Active operates 168 leisure centres on behalf of 58 local authorities across the country and has an excellent record of delivering high quality services having achieved Swim England’s Swimming Operator of the Year and UK Active Fitness Operator of the Year on multiple occasions.

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing, said:

“This is a fantastic deal for both taxpayers and the thousands of people who use K2 Crawley every day, from local residents to top athletes.

“We’ve chosen Everyone Active to manage K2 Crawley on our behalf following a very competitive tender process. Everyone Active demonstrated that they could provide high quality services as well as deliver a financial benefit to the council.”

Everyone Active’s Regional Contract Manager, Ian Cook said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen to work with Crawley Borough Council to manage the three leisure facilities including the prestigious K2 Crawley Leisure Centre.

“Everyone Active has extensive experience of engaging people in physical activity and reducing levels of inactivity. We look forward to working collaboratively with Crawley Borough Council and its wellbeing provision to provide a high-quality service and offer more opportunities for people to get active, both in the centres and in the community.”

The current leisure management contract for K2 Crawley with Freedom Leisure ends on 13 November 2018. The new contract will begin on 14 November.

Health & Wellbeing

From zero to marathon in a matter of months

What happened when people told K2 staff member Lauren she wouldn’t be able to run a marathon? You guessed it… she ran a marathon.

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Lauren’s motivation behind signing up to the marathon was to help raise money for the MS Society – a fantastic charity, and a great cause. Her ultimate goal was just to finish the 26.2 miles and, if possible, complete this in less than 6 hours.

Lauren admits she underestimated the challenge she had signed up for but the motivation she got from people saying she wouldn’t finish the race inspired her even more to succeed.

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She was completely new to fitness and had never trained at any level – she only started training 6 months before the marathon date, in November 2017!

Lauren said:

“My first training sessions were on the track doing intervals of 60 second running and 60 second walking, and eventually moving into small distance runs split between walking and running.

“Three months into my training, I started taking part in indoor cycling classes as these are low impact, which I found helped so much with my fitness. I continued to run but had ankle and calf injuries in January and February which set me back. After a few Osteopath sessions with Jonathan from David Such Osteopathy here at K2 Crawley, I stated to see improvements and was able to keep training.

“I also participated in a lot of staff classes and went out for runs with my friends and colleagues at freedom leisure, who operate K2 Crawley, who were also training for the Brighton Marathon (Sarah Roberts and Georgie Martin). Without the support of both of these girls, I don’t think I would have been able to complete this massive challenge.”

Moving into the last couple of months of training Lauren started upping the miles, doing 2 to 3 runs a week with the longest distance being 17 miles.

“When the day itself came around I still didn’t think I would finish the marathon. I was so scared and nervous but having the girls with me at the start really helped.

“For the first half of the race, I felt good, but when I got to around the 10 mile point I started feeling pain in my knee and it became more and more difficult. At around 16 miles I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish. I’m lucky I had so much support from friends and family on the day which really encouraged me to keep going.

“The last 6 miles or so were horrible, and I would say the worst pain I’ve ever been in. Somehow I managed to find the strength to keep going, and when I got to mile 25 my uncle and dad ran the last mile with me and at this point I knew I would finish.

“I was in shock that I finished and was still in such pain I couldn’t take it all in. It wasn’t until the next day when I got all the messages from people congratulating me that my achievement started to sink in.

“I now feel healthier and better within myself. I’ve lost lots of weight and have gained confidence.

“I want to say a massive thank you to Georgie and Sarah for all their support and a huge well done for their amazing marathon times!  Also, to everyone who helped with my training including Owen Callaghan, K2 Crawley’s Fitness Manager, who took me out on runs around Tilgate Park. I couldn’t have done it without you, and all the staff at K2 have been so supportive and helpful. I must say a special thank you to everyone who donated. Between me, Sarah and Georgie we raised a whooping £1766.50 for the MS Society.”

Lauren managed to smash her target finishing the marathon in 5 hours 54 minutes! This was a huge achievement and something she should be super proud of.

K2 Crawley General Manager, Jon Hodgson said:

“We would like to all say a massive well done to Lauren, Georgie and Sarah for their fantastic achievement! It’s a great event to take part in, and they raised a lot of money for a great cause. All the staff at K2 Crawley are proud and have enjoyed taking part and helping them through their training throughout 2018 so far.”

To see how K2 Crawley, operated by freedom leisure on behalf of Crawley Borough Council, can help you on your own fitness journey, go straight to their website.

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