Shetland Recreational Trust invest in sport facilities for the Island
Investing in the health of the population by providing the infrastructure required for participation in a whole range of activities and the opportunity to enjoy a healthy island lifestyle is one of the main objectives of the Shetland Recreational Trust (SRT).
So when the local council approved plans for the construction of a new high school across the road from the existing leisure complex, plans for phase four of Clickimin Leisure Developments were initiated.
The proximity between Clickimin Leisure Centre and the new School was intentional with the view to sharing resources so all sports lessons and matches would take place at the leisure complex removing the need to build dedicated sport facilities for the school.
Although the school had previously utilised Clickimin for some PE lessons, there were concerns that transferring all sporting activities to the centre would put enormous pressure on its ability to timetable both school and public activities.
The geographic location of Shetland, home to a maritime climate, infamous for wet weather and wild, stormy winters resulted in outside pitches being out of action throughout the winter, and even in the summer months they didn’t provide the ideal training ground for the teams, an indoor football and rugby facility was what they were missing and would allow teams to train in textbook conditions, all year round, whatever the weather, massively improving the teams sporting opportunities and standards.
Funding was awarded from both the local council and SportScotland, it was time to start planning the new indoor training facility to complement existing facilities which comprised a range of external pitches, squash courts, badminton courts, gyms and swimming pools.
The requirements for the new facility were straightforward, they needed a robust, cost effective, low maintenance facility which could be built relatively quickly, provide longevity and crucially stand up to the testing island weather conditions.
Already aware of the benefits of tensile structures and on recommendations from SportScotland, members of the trust visited the new tensile training facility at Invercylde, they had also heard on the island grapevine that Back FC on the Isle of Lewis had recently installed a new indoor training facility so found it very worthwhile to speak with fellow islanders about their experiences, both facilities had been designed and built by Sports Facility Specialists, Collinson.
From here on in a conventional build was dismissed, the SRT had their sights firmly set on a tensile facility, they were confident that this type of structure would buy them so much more for their money, also it was the ideal to provide the perfect playing conditions for indoor football and rugby.
In line with council procedures, the job was put out to tender and Lancashire based Collinson were appointed the main contractors for the project with their Challenger™ tensile facility, based on a price and quality matrix. Now it was time to really get the ball rolling and the project kicked off with a visit to Lancashire to meet the team of inhouse designers, engineers and surveyors and start designing the new 60/40 Challenger™ indoor sports facility.
Challenger™ comprises a steel superstructure, covered with a heavy duty architectural membrane, daylight permeates through this into the facility creating a naturally light, bright environment for sport removing the need for artificial lighting during the day, reducing running costs, an attractive proposal for SRT as Shetland enjoys daylight until midnight during the summer months. Every building undergoes structurally calculations based on the wind and snow loadings for that location, for the Clickimin facility a heavy duty fabric was specified to ensure the facility will withstand the extreme weather conditions on the island.
Despite the challenging conditions on the island, the Collinson installation team were on site come rain or shine, the build went extremely smoothly and the construction of the expansive 60/40 indoor football facility was completed to create an additional 2925m² space. Internally comprising a 3G pitch providing training facilities for football and rugby, the space can also be sectioned off with divisional nets allowing several groups to play or train simultaneously. The versatility and size of the facility has also allowed Clickimin Leisure Centre to host a wide variety of other sports in the facility such as, club golf, ultimate Frisbee, athletics and softball to name but a few! The facility also incorporates changing facilities, a viewing gallery and reception area allowing competitions to be effortlessly hosted in the new standalone facility.
‘The success of the new facility has attracted the interest of all the sports teams on the Island, after only opening 3 months ago every sports team on the island have used the new facility, with some travelling up to an hour each way to train in the excellent facilities. Coaches, parents and children alike are finding it fantastic environment to work and train in.’ said David Wagstaffe of The SRT