We get a sneak peek at Playa Blanca’s impressive new leisure centre, a project which will transform sport and fitness in the southern resort.
Ángel Lago is excited. Yaiza’s Councillor for Sports meets me at the back entrance of Playa Blanca’s sports pavilion, which is still being constructed.
“This will be the most modern sporting pavilion on the island,” he tells me.
Inside, the main elements of the pavilion have already been constructed. It’s now just a question of finishing off the works and decorating.
The first room we walk into is the biggest – the main hall – which will have one large court for major events, which can be sectioned off into three smaller courts for basketball, futsal, volleyball, or handball; or one large one. The baskets are already waiting for the thousands of balls that are due to come their way, and rows of blue seats offer a thousand places for spectators.
There’s a large gymnasium, unequipped yet, but that’s because the machines will be installed by the company that wins the contract to operate the centre. “We’ve already had interest, and the successful bidder will be the one who shows that they’re not just going to do the minimum.” One company has already mentioned installing spa facilities if awarded the contract.
“Swimming pools aren’t easy,” say Ángel, as we look over the 25-metre adult pool, the kids’ pool, and a rehabilitation pool, already tiled and marked. He explains the maintenance costs for pools have seen several pools close in Spain recently, but he’s confident the Playa Blanca one will be a success.
The pools will be overlooked by a cardio zone with exercise bikes and rowing machines.
There are several dressing rooms, smaller ones already marked for referees, doping control and sports massage: and larger ones for whole teams.
“We expect construction to be finished in December,” says Ángel “After which the tender for operating the centre will be published. Once the contract is awarded, the winning company will have a few weeks to install equipment.”
So, when will the pavilion finally be open to the public? “In May,” says Ángel. “Of course, that’s when the elections are, too, but the timing is coincidental, not on purpose. We’ve been waiting for this for years.”
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