Athletics legend Colin Jackson in Sunderland today to unveil new fitness facilities

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Athletics legend and media personality Colin Jackson was in Sunderland at the weekend to officially open £1.8million worth of fitness facilities and get people moving.

The Olympic medallist popped into Sunderland Aquatic and Wellness Centre and Raich Carter Sports Centre on Saturday as the public were invited to try the new equipment.

Colin Jackson.

Colin Jackson.

The extensive refurbishment has seen both centres, which are run by Everyone Active on behalf of Sunderland City Council, get new fitness and gym facilities.

“This is a really interesting event for us because Everyone Active have only just taken over the facilities here,” Mr Jackson said. “We’ve got a great aquatic centre but I think people only think of the facilities as being about swimming, but today we’ve officially opened this whole gym section as well which is a really beautiful space.

“It is a glorious space to do your workouts and be social. I’ve come here to officially open it and it feels great to do that.”

He added: “I’ve been here for a couple of days now. It’s great to have a proper look around the North East again and I’m really chuffed, I do like it a lot. And of course I’ll be back up next week for the Great North Run.”

We’ve got a great aquatic centre but I think people only think of the facilities as being about swimming, but today we’ve officially opened this whole gym section as well which is a really beautiful space

Colin Jackson

Everyone Active contract manager Ian Bradgate said: “We’ve invested £1.8million towards the two centres. It’s all new kit at both sites. Downstairs we have a more retro heavy weights gym and upstairs is a less intimidating open gym , open to all walks of life.”

He said the open day was designed to show off facilities, that people are less likely to associate with the aquatic centre.

“It’s to showcase what we’ve done within the centre and to get families in,” he said. “We’ve had children’s activities in the pool, inflatables sessions, bouncy castle, children’s characters and face painting.”