September 20, 2020

Paul Coleman talks to getactiveabc about his passion for the leisure industry, the heartbeat of South Lake Leisure Centre and playing county cricket in South Africa in his younger days.


What are your thoughts Paul as the opening of South Lake approaches?

I have various emotions, pride first. I am especially proud of the team and all the work that the staff have carried out to get South Lake to this point. I am really excited to open the doors to our customers, it is a shared experience which everyone should be proud of. Personally, as I live locally, I cannot wait to bring the family down. It really is a new era in fitness for Northern Ireland!

Tell us a bit about your background

I have over 20 years’ experience in the Leisure Industry, starting as a Fitness Instructor and working up through to management positions. I am delighted to be working with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council on the most exciting leisure project on the island of Ireland. I’m most excited about the opportunity that it provides for all the staff and the positive impact that it will have on the local communities.

Do you have a favourite part of the centre?

You walk into the venue and immediately enter the foyer and you get the feeling of a vast, airy space.  The foyer houses the café and, for me, it is the heartbeat of the venue. A place for the community, a place to gather, socialise and let’s not forget the spectacular views of the lake!



Do you lead a healthy lifestyle Paul?

I do try to! It has been extremely busy since I started my new role. With South Lake opening in six weeks’ time, and all that this will entail, I do not expect to have much spare time. I really haven’t been able to stick to any formal health regime lately. I would say that my kids definitely keep me active and I try to lead a balanced lifestyle, like everyone else. One of my passions is good coffee [taken in moderation of course!] and I am looking forward to the opening of the South Lake café too. Watch this space!

What is your favourite sport?

I played cricket to a decent level for my county and toured to South Africa in my younger days. I also played football until my mid-thirties and still keep an eye on my local team back home in Cardiff! I am looking forward to the local sporting clubs and organisations using the venue.



What can members and customers expect overall from the new centre Paul?

This is a huge investment by the council and everyone can expect high spec equipment, state-of-the-art facilities, plenty of room and space to relax, socialise, get active, healthy and switch off. There is definitely something for everyone including an extensive programme of classes from teens through to our ‘Nifty Fifty’ club. The setting is just fantastic by the lake and we are equally looking forward to opening the water sports centre at South Lake in spring 2021. People can also expect an extremely warm local welcome and customer service that is second to none!

South Lake Leisure Centre is opening on 2 Nov and you can register your interest at and discover more about the fantastic facilities and memberships on offer from our #getactiveabc team
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