VIDEO: Landmark birthday for Lynnsport

Lynnsport celebrated a milestone anniversary on Tuesday with the official opening of new facilities and a VIP ceremony.

The event marked 25 years to the day since the sports centre was officially opened by the Queen in 1991.

Opening of new football pitches and 25th anniversary reception, Lynnsport (Alive Leisure)
Borough Mayor David Whitby, takes a shot at goal ANL-160308-120448009

Opening of new football pitches and 25th anniversary reception, Lynnsport (Alive Leisure) Borough Mayor David Whitby, takes a shot at goal ANL-160308-120448009

Mayor David Whitby cut the ribbon to announce the opening of the new multi-purpose games area which can be used for football or hockey, which was possible thanks to help from West Norfolk Council.

Councillor Whitby was joined by young players from King’s Lynn Community Football who helped kick the celebrations off.

After these festivities, a VIP ceremony was held to commemorate the last 25 years for Lynnsport in the buidling’s Wembley Room.

Simon McKenna, chief exexcutive of Alive Leisure, addressed the audience and gave a brief history of the sports facility.

Jubilee ENGANL00120120524113856

Jubilee ENGANL00120120524113856

He said, before Lynnsport was built, that: “Originally councillor Les Daubney and councillor Leslie Dutton were instrumental in backing the scheme to build a large leisure centre. Eventually that £8.5 million scheme was agreed and called Lynnsport.”

Mr McKenna then went on to thank the “special guests” of the evening for their contribution to the sports centre’s heritage.

He said: “The facility was officially opened on August, 2 1991 by the Queen. 25 years later, today I would like to welcome Justine Anthony, who is the daughter of the first Lynnsport manager Neil Anthony. To show our appreciation and recognition to Neil, I would like to invite Justine to accept some flowers from the mayor.”

Rebecca Parker, who as a young girl in 1991 gave the Queen flowers to thank her for opening the leisure centre, received some herself from the mayor on the evening.

Opening of new football pitches and 25th anniversary reception, Lynnsport ANL-160308-120433009

Opening of new football pitches and 25th anniversary reception, Lynnsport ANL-160308-120433009

Four women who have worked at Lynnsport for the duration that it has been open were also honoured with flowers for their service.

Paula Reed, Carole Green, Debbie Parsons and Elaine Hinds were all congratulated for their achievement within the company.

Mr McKenna said: “I spoke to them all earlier and they told me they hadn’t had one bad day in 25 years, which was good to hear.

“In recognition of their years of dedicated work, I would also like to invite them all up here to accept flowers from the mayor as a token of our thanks and appreciation for their work.”

Opening of new football pitches and 25th anniversary reception, Lynnsport 
Simon McKenna - Chief Executive Alive Leisure (centre of pic) with Borough Mayor and Mayoress David and Linda Whitby ANL-160308-120415009

Opening of new football pitches and 25th anniversary reception, Lynnsport Simon McKenna - Chief Executive Alive Leisure (centre of pic) with Borough Mayor and Mayoress David and Linda Whitby ANL-160308-120415009

He went on to pay tribute to the important events that have happened at Lynnsport, from the London 2012 Olympics torch relay, to an appearance of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

He said: “The future looks bright and I’m sure Lynnsport will continue to be the leisure and sporting hub of the community for many years to come.”