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History Of Oxley Sports Centre

The Centre has come a long way since opening in 2007, and we thought it might be nice to share a little of that journey with you! From when we opened with just twelve staff, only opening in the evenings and weekends, to where we are now with over seventy staff on the books, opening 7 days a week a year. 

Oxley Sports Centre is actually the trading name of Sherborne Sports and Leisure limited who operate and employ the staff at the Sports Centre.  It is a separate organisation to Sherborne Girls School, however they are our parent company. 


The Sports Centre is a dual use facility in the traditional sense where the school do have priority access to the facilities however there is extensive community and member use of the Centre.

Although the Centre opened to the public in October 2007, the official opening wasn’t until later that year when it was opened by Karen Pickering on 16 November.  All access was pay as you go at that time but then by January 2008 we had introduced our memberships.


In January 2008 we were opening from 7am – 10pm weekdays (closing at 9pm Fridays), 8am-6pm Saturday and 8am-9pm on Sundays.  The Centre is now open five days a week to meet demand; from 5.30am – 10pm Monday to Friday (closing at 9pm Fridays), 6am-6pm Saturdays and 8am-6pm on Sundays.


​The Centre has seen some remarkable changes over the years and has been able to increase space, opportunity for more use, changed functionality of areas and looked at being able to become more environmentally friendly, saving money for both customers and staff alike whilst still giving customers value for money.


The Centre strives to stay ahead of the current trends in the leisure industry and Oxley takes training our staff very seriously. We know how important it is to have well qualified and trained staff.  Below are just some of the qualifications and training that the staff have completed over the years and continue to do:


Water Based Qualifications:

National Pool Lifeguard Qualification, including monthly training and qualification retakes (every 2 years), Swim Teaching Assistant Award, ASA Level 1 Swim Teachers, ASA Level 2 Swim Teachers, Flip ‘n’ Fun certificate (diving CPD), ASA coaches level 2, Snorkelling instructor certificate, Kayaking coaches award, Synchronised swimming, Water Polo Award, Aqua Instructor Certificate and various continual professional development  (CPD) schemes.


Fitness Orientated:

Fitness Level 2 Course, Level 3 Personal Training Qualification, GP Referral course, Nutritional course, Les Mills – BodyCombat, BodyPump, BodyVive including various CPD’s and updates, Group cycling Instructor, Boot Camp Instructor, Kettle Bells Instructor, Boxercise, Kickercise, Strength and Conditioning, Belrobics, Zumba, Barre, Bokwa, PowerHoop and Boogie Bounce. 


Other Industry based qualifications

NVQ Level 2 in Operations, NVQ Level 2 in Fitness, NVQ Level 3 in Management, NVQ Level 3 in Catering and Hospitality, NVQ in customer service, Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership, Higher Professional Diploma in Sport & Recreation Management, the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) CPD’s in various leisure related topics, IOSH Managing Safely course, PTLLS teaching course, Trainer Assessor course (for NPLQ training), Pool Plant Operator course, First Aid at Work FAAW refreshers & Fire Marshal Certificates.


So what have we done - Oxley Sports Centre Timeline


2007   October        Centre opens to the public

2008   June               Extension of original climbing wall with overhang addition

2010   February       Introduction of Spin Zone, Introduction of Treatment room

2012   September   Office Space increased (Centre Manager moves office)         

2012   November    Introduction of Coffee Pod

2013   May                1st extension of car park           

2013   July -

Jan 2014                     Extension and refurbishment of changing rooms

2014  October           Refurbishment of fitness suite & updated equipment

2014  November      Reception extended and extension of Coffee Pod

2014  September     Office Space increased (Deputy joins Centre Manager)

December                 Introduction of bouldering Wall

2016   March             Refurbishment of Spin Zone and New Astro

2016   April               The relocation of the Treatment Room to the Centre Manager’s office. Centre Managers office moves to old Treatment Room

2016   Summer        2nd extension of car park

2017   August           New spectator seating

2017   September    Installation of new UV Water Treatment system

2018   March            New customer friendly Reception Desk




2008   January         RLSS – Accredited Centre

2010   March            Swim England - Member

2017   August          CIMSPA - Employer Member

2018   April               Achieved Very Good in our QUEST accreditation

2018   November    Finalists in the UK Active Training Awards in the Small Employer of the Year Award

As you can see we have been very busy in the past eleven years and each improvement has been for the benefit of our customers.

The Centre continues to improve and develop with the help of continued custom, great staff and encouragement from the local community.

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