Welcome... Necessity is the mother of invention

Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre From the outside, the new £28m building resembles a block of ice thanks to its striking facade, which provides the insulation required to keep the building running efficiently and avoids glare in both the ice rink and the swimming pools.

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In this issue, we look at the brand new Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre, so called in commemoration of our longest serving monarch. The flagship venue brings an ice rink back to Romford allowing the London Borough of Havering to implement its sports strategy, which incorporates ice, aquatic and sports development.

We all know that space in London comes at a premium. The only way to accommodate the council’s ambitious plans in what was a very constrained site was to place the ice rink directly above the swimming pool – very few such facilities have been built here in the UK. We talk to architects Saunders Boston about the range of challenges this presented and how they were overcome. (P15)

Editor Vicky Kiernander

Sales director Julian Walter

Area sales manager Warren Lisk

Production Gina Mitchell

Design Sandra Cid

Managing director Toby Filby

Sapphire Ice and Leisure Centre is yet another example of the innovation we are seeing in sports and recreation facilities across the UK. Continuing in this vein, we also explore how artificial intelligence is making its way into our centres. (P29)

“Soon, if not already AI will be able to create individual personal exercise programmes without an instructor, simply using statistical analysis and the application of machine learning data,” says Dr Paul Bedford.

Using behavioural technology and by creating a personal relationship with members, it’s believed that AI can change positively impact retention. So, what does that mean for staff and the customer experience? Read on and find out.

Publishers Stable Publishing Limited SBC House, Restmor Way, Wallington, Surrey SM6 7AH, England. t. 020 8288 1080 f. 020 8288 1099 e.


The publishers do not necessarily agree with views expressed by contributors and cannot accept responsibility for claims made by manufacturers and authors, nor do they accept any responsibility for any errors in the subject matter of this publication.

Vicky Kiernander Editor 3

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