Om Träffpunkt Idrott
Om Träffpunkt Idrott 2018
Sports facilities as local meeting point in social challenged areas
Sports facilities can play a major role in a social challenged area by making more people become active and create a sense of belonging in the community. See examples of how to think when creating a sports facility that can serve as a local meeting point in such areas – such as Regent Park Aquatic Centre in Toronto, Canada. The seminar will be held in English.
Located in downtown Toronto, the Regent Park neighbourhood has had a challenging and chequered past, including high levels of poverty and violent crime. A significant revitalization program beginning in 2005 aimed to transform the area into a vibrant mixed-use and mixed-income neighbourhood. Part of the revitalization was Regent Park Aquatic Centre; a public pool situated in the new neighbourhood park. Central in the planning of the aquatic centre was the awareness of the facility as a social hub in a diverse neighbourhood. The facility has won a number awards for design excellence, such as the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, and the Ontario Association of Architects Design Excellence Award.
Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub was a 2012 Olympic legacy project for the Northwest of England and represented a ground-breaking project of co-location of community services. The hub, situated in Orford, one of the most deprived wards in Warrington provided a wide range of leisure facilities including a swimming pools, fitness suite, studios and sports halls alongside other facilities including a health centre housing 4 GP practices, a library, pharmacy, café, a range of conferencing and events spaces and Further Education provision. Externally the site was located next to a refurbished park with improved grass pitches and new 3G artificial grass pitch (AGP).
The new facility opened in May 2012 and attracts over a million users per annum, an increase of more than 300% based on the previous isolated library and leisure facilities. A significant reason for the increase was due to the co-location of services, which exposed people to a range of services, many of which they had previously not accessed. The provision of a library and café area created a natural meeting point for groups of people, which people utilize alongside the additional services.
Early indications are positive that social and health benefits are being achieved in an inclusive facility which is a focal point for – and valued by – the community.
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