John Wright Sports Centre's 50th Birthday
Published: Friday, 25 March 2022
As well as being the 75th anniversary of new town status, the John Wright Sports Centre also celebrates its 50th birthday.
The centre was officially opened on 18 March 1972 and was named after the then Provost of the town, John Wright, also known as “Mr East Kilbride”.
To mark the 50th anniversary his son, also called John, was invited to the centre to reminisce with staff.
He said: “It was a great honour to be asked along on the anniversary, and it fills me with pride to think of what my father did for the town.
“His life was always about family first – myself, my late mum Nan and my late sister Alice-Marie, who followed in his footsteps and entered a career in politics.
“But a close second was his beloved East Kilbride. Any problems anyone had they always knew they could go to him – he was really down to earth and cared so much for the people of the town.”
General Manager of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, who now have responsibility for the facility, Kay Morrison, said: “It is fantastic to hear about the history behind the centre and a fitting tribute to welcome his son along on the day we celebrated the 50th anniversary.”
The centre was officially opened in 1972 by the Borgmester of Ballerup Kaj Burchardt, East Kilbride’s twin town.
Another recent visitor to the centre also has fond memories of it opening. Jim Jardine took out a booking membership at the centre in 1972 as a 14-year-old and played badminton that first day the centre opened to the public. He visited with his original membership and was warmly greeted by staff, as Jim went on to work as a Sports Centre Attendant at John Wright for 12 years.
Any visitors to John Wright Sports Centre on Friday 18 March 2022 were offered commemorative gym towels and water bottles.