Sporta, the body representing Horizon Leisure Centres and other charitable leisure trusts across the UK, has rebranded as Community Leisure UK as part of efforts to “tackle a false perception of being a solely sport-focused body”.
According to CEO Cate Atwater, the new name “better reflects” members’ focus on improving the physical and mental health and wellbeing of communities across the UK. “The new name, brand and proposition for the association came from bespoke research and is far more representative of our members’ work,”
Atwater said. “Our members are there for everyone in the community, whatever they want to do in their leisure time.” She added that the charitable trust model has “helped to develop and protect” public services in tough economic times, ensuring income from leisure operations goes back into the community.
“Charitable trusts don’t tend to shout about it, but they have managed to not only keep facilities open and effective services delivering, but improve and develop them thanks to the valuable support of their communities and partners,” she said. “But, as we hear on the news daily, many public services are now at breaking point. So, it’s a simple request now – if we want public leisure and cultural facilities and services to still be there in ten years, we need to enable local authorities, policy makers and community leisure trusts to protect and invest in those services. And it’s more than financial investment – investment is about building a true, transparent, outcome-based and long-term partnership.”
As well as leisure centres and swimming pools, the independent community trusts also operate parks, museums, libraries and galleries.