All posts by: Joanne Smith-Wood

About Joanne Smith-Wood

The Standardised Approach to Sports Halls (SASH)

Given the scarcity of new leisure and community sports building in the early 21st Century, it almost seems remarkable that there was a time when there was a demand for multiple standardised sports buildings to meet the growing demands of communities.  However, that was the situation in the early 1980’s when Local Authorities and other […]

ARM News Guide

ARM News played a key role in the formative years of recreation management from 1970 to 1982.  It is an amazing chronicle of – the practicalities of sports centre management in the first decade of centres, of the developing recreation management scene, and of the important character and role of the Association of Recreation Managers […]


Lilleshall was originally built in 1831 as the hunting lodge and family retreat of the Duke of Sutherland. It first became a National Sports Centre in 1951 and was opened by the then Princess Elizabeth II with the original plaque still in place in the entrance to the main hall. It was Lilleshall’s connection with […]

Sports Centre Management Recruitment and Professional Sports & Recreation Bodies: The Historical Background

1. Three Principal Sources for Centre Management Recruitment Initially centre managers came mainly from three principal sources (Physical Education, Baths Management and the Military Services). From the mid-1970s, as the number of sports centres rapidly grew, and demand and interest increased, the sources for managers broadened. 1A Physical Educationalists PE teaching was the largest source […]

National Sports Centres

By John Birch   The early years 1945-1970 Although established for a different purpose, National Sports Centres have played a part in the development of the indoor sports centre.  The first two National Sports Centres, Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall were based upon large country houses.  Bisham Abbey, the first Centre to be opened, in 1946, […]

The National Lottery – a personal contribution by Derek Casey

The 1980s had seen a slow but clear reduction in the investment in sport both at a local and national level. This is well documented in other contributions. From the late 1980s there had been increasing discussion about the possibility of introducing a National Lottery in the UK partly based on the success of other […]

Derek Casey

Derek Casey was born and educated in Scotland. In 1978-79, as a Scottish Sports Council Officer together with Mike Hornby, he was closely involved in ‘A Question of Balance’, a major survey of Scottish Sports Centres (see Chapter 6 – 6.2.1). Later, as the Chief Executive of the Sports Council and Sport England from 1994 […]

This function has been disabled for Sports Leisure Legacy Project.