Practical realities of sports centre operation

Leatherhead Leisure Centre comprises a swimming pool complex, sports hall, six squash courts, indoor bowls, club rooms and social suite.  In its first years of opening (1975/77) the operation of the centre involved the following:

  1. Procession 10,000 members annually.
  2. Collecting £4,000 per week.
  3. 10,000 users per week of whom 45% were non-members.
  4. Dealing with 700 incoming booking telephone calls per week.
  5. 290 incoming business telephone calls per week.
  6. 160 units of correspondence per week including 30 applications.
  7. 15 business visits per week.
  8. Hiring 350 rackets per week.
  9. 168 water test readings per week.
  10. Dealing with 10 accidents per week.
  11. Collecting and recording 50 items of lost property per week.
  12. Bowing up 700 arm bands for non-swimmers per week.
  13. Bar visited by 2,000 per week (3,500 glassfulls – serving and washing).
  14. Cafeteria visited by 4,000 per week (2,200 cups coffee/tea, 2,000 portions of chips).
  15. The Duty Manager walking 20 miles per week.
  16. The Technical Assistant walking 10 miles check plant/machinery.
  17. 1.5 tons of rubbish disposed of each week.
  18. Liaison with over 100 local and regional bodies during the year.
  19. 70 different activities/interests; 219 courses; 25 schools; 40 clubs.
  20. 82 opening hours (100 hours staffed) per week.
  21. 52 full-time equivalent staff employed.

Comparison with a larger indoor recreation centre shows the same intensity of use and substantial workload encountered (15).

Dacorum Sports Centre comprises a large main hall, ancillary halls, four squash courts, fitness centre and climbing wall on the ‘dry’ side and on the ‘wet’ side a 33 metre pool, separate diving area and learners’ pool.  The diving pit is separate from the main pool and includes 5 m, 3 m and 1 m boards.  The operation of the Centre in the 1984/85 financial year included a throughput of 811,520 attendances and income of £412,627 and required 50 full-time staff to operate the Centre worth in excess of £4.5 million.  In this highly effective centre the operation for a typical week involved:

  1. An average weekly cashflow of £8,600.
  2. 17,000 users per week.
  3. 800 incoming booking telephone calls per week.
  4. 1,200 incoming general telephone calls per week.
  5. 300 unites of correspondence per week.
  6. 30 incoming applications for regular one-off bookings per week.
  7. 30 incoming queries and comments per week.
  8. Hiring 70 rackets per week.
  9. 28 water test readings per week.
  10. Watching 5,000 people swim safely per week.
  11. Attending 15 accidents per week.
  12. Collecting and recording 50 articles of lost property per week.
  13. The Duty Officers walking 20 miles per week.
  14. On the technical side, 10 tons of rubbish disposed of each week.
  15. Plant Operators walking 10 miles per week checking plant.
  16. 110 gauges checked each week plus other machinery and ongoing repairs to items from doors to drains.
  17. 126,000 gallons of water used every week for the pools, showers etc.