A leisure centre in the UK, Ireland, Australia (also called aquatic centres) and Canada is a purpose built building or site, usually owned and operated by the city, borough council or municipal district council, where people go to keep fit or relax through using the facilities.
Facilities may include a swimming pool (many with water slide), large sports hall, squash courts, cafeteria, licensed bar, fitness suite, aerobics studios, outdoor grass and/or artificial pitches for football (soccer), hockey etc., a solarium, sauna and/or steam room.
Leisure centres in the UK and Canada are staffed by leisure centre attendants employed by the local council. They carry out a range of tasks to help and supervise people using leisure centre facilities and act as swimming pool life guards, gym instructors and coaches offering advice, motivation and expertise to users. Many of its functions may overlap with that of a community centre.
Leisure centres are also popular in Australia, where they are mostly privately operated but Government funded. In that country they are often also called Recreation Centres, or most commonly Aquatic Centres due to the swimming facilities being the most popular facility that is available.
In some areas of the UK and Canada (such as Calgary) these services are now operated by private companies on contract to the local authority.
Most towns in the UK are now introducing leisure facilities for the local community.
Examples of leisure centres
- Deeside Leisure Centre
- Gloucester Leisure Centre
- Ladywell Leisure Centre in Lewisham, London
- Lakeside Leisure Centre in Alberta, Canada
- Leisure centres in Cardiff
- South Norwood Leisure Centre
- Swansea Leisure Centre in Wales
- The Dome Leisure Centre in Doncaster
- Caldicot Leisure Centre in Monmouthshire
- Crystal Leisure Centre in Dudley
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