“ Sports Centre. Alexandra Park, Portsmouth. tel = (023) 9266 5122 „
I'm a mountbatten centre member for nearly 3 years now and every January except this year my membership went up , money that has not yet justified any changes for the better ! let me start complaining with things that can be done ASAP with little to no investment . Hoovering !! needs to be done on the regular basis. Pipe blockage of the urinal due to incorrect pipe installation ! air units (vrv) that are supposed to supply the customer with fresh air, are in an appaling condition !! the filters need to be pulled out and hooverd !! the abs/ machine on the black mats are missing a screw or they get loose where the head sits !! all you need is a washer to keep the screw tied in place.
Ok now let me tell u about the few things that with a little money spent, will satisfy a lot of your customers.
1. Last year there were 6 or 7 skipping ropes - all different sizes, NOW there is only one size = small
2. Last yearthere were different sizes of stretch bands with handles, NOW not one in sight
3. Foam rollers - that 90% of gyms around the country supply, YOU don't!!
4. The dumbell weights - ARE NOT SECURE/SAFE, all have missing the right KG stickers/information!! This can cause a major muscle strain , even shoulder dislocation if someone picks two different weights for chest bench press or shoulder press. I can inform you that I have looked into this matter and if an injury occurs, a court case against you would be very easy to determine that -YOU ARE responsible and reliable for big time compensation!!
PS. I know this problem has tried to have been resolved 6 months ago, as I saw the guy glueing stickers to the Dumbells, BUT HE WAS USING THE WRONG TYPE OF GLUE THAT DOES NOT ALLOW MOVEMENTS !! NEXT TIME TRY gripfill or NOMORE NAILS . AND yes Reebok does supply the round kg stickers , as I contacted them!!
5. The water fountain at the back of the Gym, runs hot water if its not used for a few hours!! because the pipes are running from downstairs-- passing the jacuzzi and the sauna !! All you need is to insulate the cold pipe keeping it away from the heat !!
6. The weight belt that is supposed to give extra support, when squatting or dead lifting, has lost its Velcro grip for the last 8 months now!! Same brand and same size are available for as little as 9 pounds on the High street !!!
7. The steralizing spray bottle, finally came out last week after complaints to one of your members of staff !! but they need to be hooked on the wall next to the paper towers, with a label PLEASE RETURN AFTER USE.. as people leave the bottle around the gym!!
8. The boxing bag is still down for how much longer??? Never mind .. , you been told so many times now that I haveI lost count!!!
9. The members of staff do not get involved or even stop and take notice, when some one is about to snap thier neck or back in half. I see so many youngsters try some dangerous/ weird exercises, yet no one stops them and explains the correct way to do it,
10. You have boxed in the squat area for safety reasons, with the yellow and black tape, yet you have not put a tape in front of the dumbell rack, which should be at least 2 feet away from the rack, to prevent people pulling the bench right next to the rack, making it impossible to access the dumbells that are needed by other members! In other words mark a path !
11. They are not enough benches in the lifting area!!
12. Lack of communication. = Members of staff seem to have given up and no longer give a damn, as they get complaints all the time from the members and the people in charge don't do anything about them. Even small things that need attention ASDAP!!!!!
13. Yes I do know that new Cardio machines have arrived and some are top of the range, BUT what about the small things I just mentioned!! That cost next to nothing.
I hope all this will be read and someone that has some kind of authority will make some changes, and realize that customers will not come through the door any more, unless some investment and effort will be made. I have noticed that this year, your January new resolution attitude didn't bring too many new members through the doors. I WONDER WHY!!??
Having been fairly recently given a multi million pound facelift, the Mountbatten leisure centre is now hoping to be a training centre for the Olympics and pull in new members to use its upgraded leisure facilities. Previously, I had been using the more elite and incredibly expensive David Lloyd leisure centre in Port Solent - convenient for me at a 15 minute walk especially as I didn't have a car at the time. However, paying £67 a month for the privilege just wasn't worth the effort, and having switched jobs and gotten a new car, I could now afford (or the opposite as the case may be) to look elsewhere for a fairly decent gym.
Location & Access
Mountbatten is situated next to Alexandra Park, its a great location for me and I should imagine anyone who lives in and around central Portsmouth. I tend to go first thing in the morning and from Port Solent it takes me less than 10 minutes in the 6.15 am traffic. However, getting out of Portsmouth is a nightmare at the best of times, and as I work on a business park in Whiteley in the other direction, leaving Mountbatten at 7.45 on a weekday can be stressful. Generally speaking, for most people going in their leisure time, this location is convenient, has several large car parks (being a leisure centre it can get very busy there on Saturdays) and best of all, has a fairly decent view from the treadmill! You can see the motorway crossing into Portsmouth, but underneath that, you can see the lake and in the dark winter mornings, it can be quite mesmerising looking out when you aren't quite awake yet!
Having been upgraded recently, you can imagine that Mountbatten's facilities are fairly top-notch. The gym has the standard machines from treadmills, rowers and cross trainers to weights spin bikes and other machines I'll never know how to work or will ever use.
They also have a 50m Olympic size swimming pool and it really is quite impressive. One side of the pool is always open via a moveable central boom so at least so there will never be a time when you arrive at the leisure centre only to find that the pool isn't open!
Other facilities that I am yet to personally experience is a childrens pool, sauna, jacuzzi, sunbeds, massage/treatment rooms, steam rooms. Outside boasts track facilities, and the centre also has various exercise classes and badminton courts.
Changing room wise, I don't really have any complaints. They are mostly clean and spacious but again I put that down to the times I usually go to the gym. When I arrive there is always a cleaner in the women's changing room, and I am rarely ever in the changing room with anyone else at that time in the morning! My only complaint would be the hair drying facilities. There are plenty of mirrors, sinks and lockers, (as well as six private changing cubicles) but the hair drying facilities leave a lot to be desired; they seem old and outdated, and I think it would take me a week to dry one strand of hair on the power that comes out of the tiny little ends of them! I tend to take my own hair-dryer into the gym with me but even this is risky; sometimes I will arrive and someone else is using their hair-dryer in the (one and only) available socket, and sometimes the cleaner will be using the vacuum with that socket. Having long thick hair and needing to be at work for 8.30 doesn't give me a lot of time to dry it if I have to use one of these bad boys! I cant imagine how it would be if I went during busy periods!
I currently pay £40 a month for my gym membership which gives me access to all the gym, sauna, pool etc. facilities at any time as well as any of the classes that I want to attend. I believe I also get one free badminton session a month with a guest - but don't quote me - badminton isn't my thing so I may have made a mistake on that one!
You will also have to pay an extra £20 for an 'induction' when you sign up which you will have with one of the gym trainers. They will go around and show you how to use the machines correctly and, like most gyms, will offer to give you a training programme where they will assess your level of commitment, how long you will exercise for etc., and take your measurements and weight and set out an exercise plan for you to do to achieve whatever goal you want.
Its a reasonable price for all its facilities so overall it is good value for money for me for the amount I go to the gym these days. Its close to my home, its perfect to fit in first thing in the morning when its quiet and for the majority of the time I have the gym to myself and the gym and changing rooms are kept lovely and clean.
A welcome change from David Lloyd would be that the members only changing room is only open to over 16's - which means no screaming children or running around/hiding under towels/ in lockers/splashing water about etc. (sorry mums reading this, I love children, but why can't they keep under control in gyms when members have paid good money for a 'leisure' facility? Was never relaxing in David Lloyd, and usually after a good swim and sauna, I'd leave the changing rooms feeling more frazzled than before!)
Despite the changing rooms being excellent, I still think they need new hair-dryers or at least some more plug sockets! I've been told by my Uncle a few things about this leisure centre that has put me off using some of the facilities (he is also a member). He attempted to use the jacuzzi only to find a couple pretty much having sex in there, he's seen members of the public walk straight through open barriers without paying - the receptionists not even taking a second look, and he has caught people smoking in the changing rooms. I don't want to focus too much on any of these things (although the jacuzzi thing as put me off trying it in there, sorry to be prude!) as I haven't experienced most of them - except for the smoking. Twice I've gone into the changing rooms to smell cigarette smoke.
My gripes tend to be directed towards the exercise classes. I would love some more dance related classes as I find this lacking on their schedules - a lot of their classes don't really appeal to me and I did find that David Lloyd had a better range. Having said that, I would attend some of their classes but find their timings don't suit my work hours. They either start too late (I'd go home and not go back out again!) or they start too early. I got very excited this week to see they are starting a Zumba class, but that it would be from 5pm - no good for any working girl who wouldnt reach the gym til 5.45!
My last point is on some staff attitude. I'd been a member of the gym for all of four days before I was furious with a situation I found myself in at the gym. I had attended the gym at 6.30 again, only to not be able to get in the main doors. I knocked on the door (they are glass, so you can see right in to the reception) but I was basically ignored. I stood and waited. Finally another couple came to the door and asked why we couldn't get in. Finally, a member of the reception staff came out and told us bluntly that the duty manager hadn't turned up which meant they couldn't open the doors to the public. There was no apology, and there was no further explanation, and it was almost as if our presence was an inconvenience to her. Never mind the fact that it was an inconvenience to me having gotten up early, needing to wash my hair but knowing that Id be late for work now I had to go back home and change! Consequently I wrote to them and complained and they did apologise and offer me a session with a personal trainer which I accepted - however this was November, and I'm still waiting for them to follow up on their offer!
If you live in the area and you are looking for a decent gym with an amazing pool, this is the deal for you. You can get a swim only membership too if you would prefer, and this leisure centre is great for kids ( I see them all streaming in there on a Saturday morning!) If you are looking for a peaceful time, I'd recommend going first thing where you will be amongst a handful of people working out (usually all the same people which is nice!) otherwise this gym is pretty hectic! If you aren't a fan of little kids ruining your gym time, then I would definitely recommend this gym - that is if you aren't using the swimming pool on a Saturday and if you can get past groups of them in the reception on a weekend...once you are in the changing room or gym, you are again safe!
The Mountbatten Centre has just had a multi million pound revamp, to bring it up to date as a prospective training centre for use in the London 2012 Olympics. It is currently hoped that a team will base themselves here in the period leading up to the games.
The main new "attraction" is a 50m (Olympic sized) swimming pool, with a movable boom, which can divide the pool into too 25m and 23m pools, and moveable floors for varying depths. (Timetable and/or contacting the centre can confirm the pools status as it varies throughout the day.) There is also a brand new training pool, used for some lessons, children, and also has facilities to assist disabled swimmers to get in and out of the water.
The lockers/changing room are unisex, which was a bit strange at first, but you soon get used to it and there's plenty of cubicles to change in, or if you prefer, male and female toilets. There are also accessible changing facilities.
Facilities wise, the only thing they could do with is a few more showers, but hopefully when it's been open a bit longer and the novelty effect has had time to wear off a bit, and when I've worked out the quieter time, this will be less of a problem!
The pool can get very busy at times, it was very very busy during half term week, especially when the free for under 16s sessions were on. I believe over 60s get free sessions too, under a new government scheme. This is worth bearing in mind, as unless you are a member, you may end up having to wait a while to get in the pool at the busiest times. (No band system operates currently.)
There is also a brand new gym, which is very nice, and sauna, jacuzzi, sunbed, and steam room facilities are available in this area too. It's very relaxed, so I find it preferable as a casual gym user, the atmosphere is really positive, and I've certainly not felt out of place in there at any point.
Membership including gym + swimming and a few other bits and pieces, the advantage of being able to swipe yourself straight in without queueing to pay, a few members only sessions, and priority on booking for classes/facilities, and discounted rates costs £39.50 per month, plus a £50 starter fee, currently. I feel this is good value for money as I was paying just over £10 a week on swimming, and so I get my moneys worth, plus free use of the gym and other facilities whenever I want to use them...also, it's a huge incentive to go when you're paying for it monthly!!
Also, this is on top of the already great facilities offered by the existing centre, including track and field, squash, dance, trampolining, circuit classes etc etc etc!
Originally built in 1979 and updated regularly with newer and better facilities ever since, the Mountbatten Centre (MBC) is now the South Coast?s premier facility! Situated on the very edge of central Portsmouth in the tranquil Alexandra park, MBC is both ideally situated for students and Hampshirians alike as well as providing excellent facilities and a scenic backdrop of Tipner Lake (ok so it?s a little murky, but still better than looking out onto a car park or shopping centre ? imho - ooh and the M27 provides a quiet hum on a calm day). FACILITIES ? SPORT Indoor ? 2 large sports halls cater for badminton, trampolining, aerobics, circuit training and various other activities e.g. kiddies parties with bouncy castles (what it was to be young). There are also 3 squash courts, although these are rather popular so advanced booking is advisable. A large gym and fitness suite houses state of the art equipment and sunbeds ? although in different rooms! Sunbeds cost £4/£4.55 (member/non-member) for 20 minutes. A Chinese masseur also runs a business from within the suite. Gym equipment includes a comprehensive range of computerised cycles, treadmills, rowers and steppers, a range of muscle specific trainers, free weights and an all important warm-up and stretch area! To join the gym an induction has to be taken so your level of fitness can be determined and then a training plan outlining the number of reps etc that you should be doing. This costs a one off fee of £10 and takes around an hour. After that you are ready and raring to go! As you can imagine this is a very popular gym and because MBC is home to quite a few sports clubs (Portsmouth road runners, Portsmouth athletics club not to mention the hockey, football, squash, karate and netball teams). The evenings tend to be heaving so if at all possible visit in the early afternoon or mid-morning. After your workout, you may care to use the sauna or steam room to loosen up ? very therapeutic!
Membership for the Scultpures fitness suite currently stand at an annual fee of £270 for individual gym or £470 for dual gym use. This can be paid in a one off fee or monthly by direct debit. Gym membership also entitles the user to a reduced fee for aerobics and circuit training sessions. The minimum age for joining the gym is 16 however from 4-5pm on a Wednesday afternoon 13-16 year olds may use the cardiovascular equipment under the supervision of one of the gym instructors. This equipment includes, rowing machines, ski machines, cycle machines, steppers and treadmills. The changing rooms are large with lockers and showers and there are two separate toilet areas for spectators and athletes. The track changing room is uni-sex and generally used by the Portsmouth athletics club, this means it?s rather buys on club nights so using the other facilities is advisable! A trained physiotherapist is available on weekdays in the sports therapy area. Enquiries about this service have to go through the main reception. Outdoor ? The MBC has one of the best athletics tracks in the South and was lucky enough to host the British Paralympics in 1997. The eight-lane track is synthetic and suitable for spikes of a length up to 0.9 cm. A competition quality cycling track runs around the athletics track. The use of this is only permitted under supervision with the proper equipment. Supervision is given by the Portsmouth Triathletes every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. They do have cycles for hire. Annual track (both athletics and cycling) membership is currently £18.75 for juniors (Under 16) and £26.50 for adults. A shotput area, discus/hammer area and 4 long/triple jump pits are available as well as a steeplechase track complete with water jump! Usage of these facilities and indeed the whole track is at the management?s discretion and will depend on any event booked (the track can be booked privately and in the summer hosts many events for both comp
etitions at county level and the sports days of local schools). If you require hurdles or disci etc then you will have to ask at reception and a supervisor will bring the equipment out from the storage area for you at no extra cost! A large stand overlooks both tracks (the cycle track basically runs around the outside of the athletics track) with seating for 500. There is a small kiosk, which sells drinks, ice creams and small snacks at larger events. However, when this is hut there are a few vending machines located in various areas around the centre. Outside toilets are available for both sexes. The centre also boasts 8 tennis courts, 4 netball courts and 2 astro turf pitches used for hockey and football. These are available for use by local clubs or private groups and can be hired at the prices listed at the bottom of the review. All of the outdoor facilities are floodlit. FACILITIES ? BUSINESS & LEISURE (a wonderful combination contrary to popular belief!) The Mountbatten centre has 2 large conference halls, a large restaurant and a licensed bar. It is ideal for conferences with approx. 200 people. The bar overlooks the track and lake. A cafeteria is open daily and serves hot and cold food at reasonable prices. ACCESS The sports centre lies off Alexandra Road and Gladys Avenue and has a car park for upto 170 cars (built in reclaimed land ? how nice!) Cycle lanes pass through the back of the centre form Cosham and Hilsea, making it safer and more scenic for the energetic traveller. One thing that I do find annoying is that there is a slight slope up to the main entrance which I could imagine could be hard work for anyone in a wheelchair. There is a lack of ramps inside so wheelchair users have to access the downstairs facilities through the track entrance. Improvements in this provision do need to be made. Disalbles ? steep hill, stairs, ramps form outside PRICES (First
price given is for adult, second for child, all prices are per hour) Admission - £0.55/£0.30 Badminton - £6.40/£3.85 Squash - £4.90/£3.00 Table Tennis - £2.55/£1.60 Volleyball - £19.20/£11.55 Half Hall (5v5 football/basketball) - £25.60/£15.40 All Weather Pitch - £21.35/£12.75 Tennis - £3.55/£2.20 Athletics (Casual) - £1.40/£0.70 Netball - £9.80/£7.75 Floodlight prices are extra and vary. OPENING DETAILS The centre is open from 7am ? 11pm on most days, however, please telephone before you visit to ensure the facility is available. CONTACT DETAILS For additional information, please telephone: Sports Enquiries and Bookings - (023) 9266 5122 Catering, Conferences, weddings etc - (023) 9267 8787 Alexandra Park, Portsmouth, Hants PO2 9QA