On 2nd January at 6am, Chigwell School’s Sport and Wellness Centre officially opened its doors to the public, having been accessible to the school’s students since September.

This new state-of-the-art £25 million facility, which has been in the planning for 6 years, boasts a fully equipped David Lloyd style gym, climbing wall, industry-leading 25 metre, 6-lane indoor swimming pool, CV studio (complete with sprung wooden floor) and indoor sports hall arena to accommodate cricket, hockey, badminton, basketball and much more besides.

In an exclusive interview with the school’s Bursar, I asked about the background to the project and how the Sport and Wellness Centre fits within the school’s vision for its role in the wider community. He told me that “a huge amount of work went into the planning of the project before builders were even appointed.” In fact, the school governors have been determinedly working towards this goal since 2017, despite the economic obstacles posed by the pandemic, Brexit process and war in Ukraine.


Chigwell School is rightly proud of its longstanding relationships with all manner of grassroots sports clubs, ranging from the support of local cricket clubs like Fives & Heronians to the hundreds of youngsters that make use of the 3G pitch through the school’s partnership with Colebrook Royals. However, the construction of this new hub of wellness has “taken this cooperation to a whole new level.”


“Governors of the school are very keen to put Chigwell at the heart of the local community rather than being set apart from it. This means that the new facilities are open not only to local clubs but also to any member who wishes to join and we really hope that it will become a hive of activity throughout the year,” Mr Rea said. 

The project’s success has been highlighted by the fact that, in the first week of opening, nearly 100 members have joined. Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic may have threatened to put the project on the backburner, the school’s resounding success in the construction of the Sport and Wellness Centre has exemplified the resilient way in which challenges were dealt with, staying true to the school’s motto – Find a way or make a way.