Lasting leisure legacy for Kenny 

Bolton One exterior
Exterior of Bolton One

Olympic hero Jason Kenny is to have Bolton's newest leisure complex named after him.

Cyclist Kenny, is Bolton's greatest Olympian to date, after adding golds in the men's team sprint and the individual sprint in London 2012, to the gold and silver medal he won in Beijing.

Council bosses have announced plans to name the leisure facility at Bolton One, the town's £30.6m leisure, health and research centre, after him.

A motion will go before the council on August 29, asking councillors to back naming it the Jason Kenny Centre, in his honour. The motion also asks for support to name a local cycle trail after him.

The news comes just days after the council unveiled details about the public celebration it is hosting for Kenny on September 1.

Bolton One, on Moor Lane, opened in February and is a partnership between the council, NHS Bolton and the University of Bolton.

The leisure facility contains a state-of-the-art fitness suite, a community gym, dance and workout studio along with a competition standard, eight-lane, 25-metre swimming pool.

Kenny said: “As the saying goes ‘home is where the heart is’ so it's a real honour to have the leisure centre at the Bolton One complex named after me. I'm proud of being from Bolton, it is where I was born and bred, so to be recognised in this way by my home town is incredible."

And council bosses believe that it is only fitting to name the centre after him.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, added: “Jason’s spectacular gold medals were proud and inspirational moments for everyone in Bolton. Bolton One houses our newest leisure centre, in the heart of the community. Jason is a great sporting ambassador, an inspiration for young people across the borough and we think this is a good way to honour his achievements.

“We’ve marked 2012 as the year of sport and we want to build a strong Olympic legacy in his home town that will inspire generations to come. We hope that his triumph will inspire young people to get active, use sporting facilities and aim for success.”

Chairman of Bolton Community Leisure Trust, Dave Singleton, added: “we’re delighted that the leisure facility at Bolton One will be named the Jason Kenny Centre. It’s a fitting tribute to our local Olympian whose dedication to sport and exercise has contributed to achieving the ultimate goal.”

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, the local body responsible for health care in the community, added his support for the proposal. “The whole building is designed to be a central part of the Bolton community, and it is only right that Jason, who has made such a tremendous contribution to sport, is acknowledged in this way,” he said.

“I hope that the name encourages even more people to go to the leisure centre or just get on their bike and live a healthy lifestyle.”

Dr George Holmes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, said: “'I had the pleasure of meeting Jason when the University awarded him a masters degree, just after his medal success at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

“We were thrilled to see him achieve further Olympic glory in London this year, demonstrating what hard work and dedication can achieve. He is a great ambassador for sport and this is a fitting tribute from the town.”

The motion will be considered at the council meeting on August 29 and if passed work will then start on renaming the centre.

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Karen Johnston
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