Wigan Youth Zone is the largest youth centre of its kind in the United Kingdom. The centre’s purpose is a simple one: Provide the town’s young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.
The centre opened in March 2013 following substantial donations from prominent local businessmen, the Premier League and Wigan Athletic football players.
Technogym supported the project by donating 30 items of state-of-the-art strength and cardiovascular equipment for the new fitness suite. All the gym equipment originated from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics games therefore helping to create a real and tangible Games legacy for the young people of Wigan. The project has been awarded the official ‘Inspired by 2012’ mark.
How did it start?
Technogym works with Dave Whelan, owner of DW Sports, and one of the patrons of Wigan Youth Zone. Through him we heard of the exciting vision to create the UK’s largest youth club. We believed it would be an ideal way to help build a London 2012 legacy by inspiring a new generation of young people in Wigan to become more physically active.
The Wigan Youth Zone aims to provide young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to, every day of the year. The centre’s objective is to support young people to develop real and achievable aspirations. The same is true for the gym, which encourages young people to become stronger and more active, as well as providing them with a place to train to excel at their preferred sport.
Why is this project important?
Technogym has a heritage of strong involvement in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, having been the Official Fitness Equipment Supplier to the past five Olympic Games. This has included our commitment to inspire a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Games by encouraging sports and physical activity at all levels. The Wigan Youth Zone project is an ideal fit for our ‘Let’s Move for a Better World’ vision and why we were very keen to be involved.
Technogym donated a total of 30 machines – 18 ‘Excite+’ cardiovascular machines and 12 pieces of strength machines, and other ancillary items to the centre . We also provided free delivery and installation as well as designed all the inspiring gym branding throughout the gym. Centre staff were then trained across the entire equipment range to ensure users get the most from their gym visits.
Wigan Youth Zone has signed up over 6,250 members at the end of 2013 against an original target of 2,000. The centre attracts approximately 3,000 weekly visits. 217 volunteers, drawn from the local community, regulatory donate their time and expertise.
Wigan Youth Zone is an extraordinary project, started from a simple idea back in 2009. Prime Minister, David Cameron was blown away by what he found when he visited the centre for its March 2013 opening. This is what he had to say:
‘This one of my proudest days to date as Prime Minister. This is an extraordinary example of philanthropy from local businesses, local families and local organisations who have put their money in to make this club happen.’
We say, well done to Technogym for making a substantial donation of 30 machines to help bring this exciting project to life. People ask where is the evidence of the London 2012 Olympic legacy –well, it’s right here in Wigan.