Town’s sport centre prepares to celebrate landmark anniversary

09:21 21 March 2014

The Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham.

The Ross Peers Sports Centre, Soham.

Archant

Soham’s Ross Peers Sports Centre will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its opening on Saturday.

On March 24, 1984, Soham and District Sports Association was officially opened by former Wolverhampton Wanderers footballer Bill Slater, the culmination of more than two years of planning and preparation.

The centre had come to fruition thanks to the hard work of a committee from Soham, Wicken, Isleham and Fordham spear headed by the late Ross Peers, a local chemist and councillor, along with Martyn Gordon and Tony King.

The trio managed to raise the required funds, apply for grants, and obtain land and planning permission on a site at Soham Village College.

The centre opened with a large main hall, a meeting room, bar and second smaller hall and boasted a five-strong staff consisting of Vaughan Moll, Glynis Banks, Paddy Walsh and Susan Taylor.

Under the terms of the lease, the schools of Soham had use of the hall three-and-a-half days a week during term time and this continues today.

The voluntary committee helped man the bar and office and continued to raise funds and very soon filled the remaining two spaces with two squash courts, a multi gym, a snooker room a second hall and a lift.

Ross died suddenly in May 1993 however the committee continued with their work and, in October 1993, a large extension was opened by Olympian Fatima Whitbread, with the centre renamed the Ross Peers Sports Centre.

To celebrate the centre’s landmark anniversary, a get together is being held on Saturday starting at 7pm, with music from Generations.

The following afternoon, an open event is being held from 12.15-5pm where visitors can see what the centre has to offer.

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