Numbers ‘go crazy’ as surge back to leisure centre takes off

by Colin Campbell

AN online survey appeared in my mail inbox from the Inverness leisure centre. I wouldn’t normally bother responding to these things but I did to this one, giving the venue 10 out of 10 on every question and rounding off by saying they’ve done a superb job since reopening and deserved the highest praise.

Which they have, and which they do. Within the inevitable constraints the centre faces, the response from High Life Highland has been second to none.

And, from a very slow start after reopening, people are now returning in substantial numbers.

On Saturday afternoon I went along without pre-booking. I got a space in the gym to get moving again after that damn bike fall, but was enthusiastically told that advance booking is now more or less essential, as in the past couple of weeks the numbers returning have “gone crazy”.

Good. And let’s hope they get crazier still.

For the time being, at least, the centre could not cope with the thousands of weekly visits it used to have from customers.

But there was a dispiriting period which lasted for several weeks after reopening where attendances were so sparse that it was worrisome. Where had everyone gone? Were some too fearful to return? During lockdown, had many given up the exercise habit altogether and cosily converted into couch potatoes? Perish the thought, but could the centre even survive long term with such emptiness and inactivity?

Well now the picture has changed completely and the familiar high energy leisure centre is returning. If not fully back in business yet it seems to be rapidly getting there.

I’ve no doubt they’ll also be on the ball in responding to suggestions for any improvements during the winter months ahead.

The leisure centre is the most important venue for health and wellbeing in Inverness. It has risen fully to the formidable and complex virus challenge, and as customers flow back in ever increasing numbers that’s excellent news for the Highland capital.


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