“The track at Broadbridge Heath was my life” - Olympic legend

JPCT 280612  BBHLC Joint user group march on the capitol. Sally Gunnell. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 280612 BBHLC Joint user group march on the capitol. Sally Gunnell. Photo by Derek Martin

Olympic legend Sally Gunnell has stressed the importance of retaining a running track for the Horsham district.

At yesterday’s (Wednesday June 27) intense debate over the future of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, the 45-year-old who remains the only woman ever to hold four major track titles concurrently - Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth - told the County Times that ‘the track at Broadbridge Heath was my life’.

She said: “When I heard the news I was upset. Someone showed me a photo of myself at the leisure centre in 1987 when it must have just opened. I used to train there all the time - it has been a life saver and played a huge part in my life.

“Living in Steyning, this is my local track. We haven’t got enough of them in the area and most of them are getting run down.

“The campaigners have been fantastic, it just shows how passionate everyone is and how it affects lots of people’s lives.”

She added: “It’s not just about future Olympians but anyone who wants to be active and wants to get involved with track and field has to be training on a proper track - it’s not the same to go running around the road.”

One of Horsham’s Olympic hopefuls also turned out in support of the campaign. Jade Nicholls, 25, told the County Times: “The Joint User Group have been really good in getting together all the groups and people who are passionate about saving the club, because, at first, we were just a lot of really angry little groups.

“The new option is a big step, but more work needs to be done.”