Debenham: Praise for community’s role as leisure centre hits 25th birthday

Debenham Sports and Leisure when it held the grand opening of its new sports hall floor

Debenham Sports and Leisure when it held the grand opening of its new sports hall floor

The chairman of a village leisure centre has praised the community support it has received as preparations continue for its 25th birthday party.

Debenham Sports and Leisure centre’s silver anniversary will see supporters, staff and residents attend in recognition of its achievements.

Dennis Morley, chairman of Debenham Village Hall and Playing Field Trust, which runs the centre, said it had improved over the years by catering for a wider-range of sports.

He said: “It’s absolutely imperative to have the community support. We are trying to be totally inclusive for the whole community. Some young groups used to go to other places but now they are coming here – this is where they should be.”

“We want the people of Debenham and the surrounding villages to use the centre – that’s really important –that’s what keeps us going.”

He said last year’s Diamond Jubilee had brought more families to the centre.

He praised volunteers’ passion and said he was happy to have more trustees on the board than in the past.

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The parish council has helped fund recent improvements at the leisure centre.

Parish chairman Richard Blackwell said he was delighted with how the centre was being run.

He said: “It’s a fantastic facility, the village is incredibly fortunate to have it, there’s not many villages like Debenham which have a facility like this.

“People are using the centre more and it’s turning a profit so it’s doing very well.

“The centre is essential for the high school as it’s effectively their sporting facility. It’s a terrific example of partnership.”

A dinner dance to celebrate the 25th birthday will take place on September 28 at 7.30pm.

Tickets include a two-course meal and live music. They are available from the leisure centre.

Parish vice-chairman Steve Palframan said: “A village of Debenham’s size does not tend to get a centre like it.”

For more information on the centre and its events go to

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