Hundreds of people were given a taster of what Penzance Leisure Centre has to offer when it held a popular open day earlier today.

Visitors were able to swim, visit the 50-station gym and take part in 30-minute fitness classes all for free, in return for donations to Cornwall Hospice Care.

Falmouth Packet:

  • Sam Roberts from Penzance does some pull-ups in the gym

Plenty of families and fitness fans, as well as people looking to start exercising in the new year, took up the offer.

Children could take part in football coaching, badminton and table tennis sessions, or simply jump on the bouncy castle. There were also demonstrations from Cornwall Karate, with Mousehole Football Club and the Cornish Pirates rugby team getting involved too.

Falmouth Packet:

  • A karate lesson led by assistant instructor Andy Chellew

For those preferring to relax, there was the chance to sit back in the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.

Among the families enjoying what was on offer was Rachel Taylor and her children Kyla and Ruan. She said: “There’s lots going on, it’s not just the swimming. My son is thinking about doing football now, after trying it today. It’s been good.”

While there, visitors were able to take advantages of centre’s ongoing offer to sign up to be a member for just £1 (normally £10 set up fee) which runs until March 1. This enables them to pay membership rates on sessions without any further monthly fee until after that date and, after six months of being a member, they will receive another month free.

Marketing manager Rees Brown said: “The aim today is just to invite as many local families as possible in to experience the facilities. With it being January everyone is looking to get fit, so it’s just trying to make that easy and accessible for everyone.”

Falmouth Packet:

  • A body attack class in progress led by Steph Davis

The centre, which is based over two levels, runs 70 classes a week, from body combat to spinning, Zumba and yoga, as well as boasts a 25-metre, six-lane swimming pool, a 17-metre learner pool and a sports hall, where sports such as football, badminton and trampolining are offered.

There is also an on-site café for snacks and hot meals.

Falmouth Packet:

  • Duty manager Mike Moskal helps serve up food in the cafe

It is also thought to be the only leisure centre in Cornwall to offer a crèche facility giving parents the chance to exercise while staff look after their children, Monday to Saturday.

One mum, Cassie Marsden, said she would not be able to take part in classes if it was not for this facility, adding: “It’s fantastic and very accommodating. The children are very well looked after.”

Falmouth Packet:

  • Missy Marsden plays with creche assistant Jo Brace

The leisure centre itself is open seven days a week, from 6.30am to 10pm weekdays and 7am/8am to 7.30pm at weekends.

The only leisure centre in the county to be run by Parkwood Leisure, in partnership with Cornwall Council, it was only build 12 years ago and since then has undergone a £150,000 refurbishment of its gym in the last two years and a refit of the fitness studio with new lighting and timetable in the last couple of months.