New High Life Cards
Mean Cheaper Sports In Highlands

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High Life Goes Highland Wide
Card may not be available until April 2002

A pioneering scheme in Nairn and Ross and Cromarty, which encourages use of leisure facilities through the issue of discount cards, has proved so successful that it is to be extended throughout The Highland Council area. A 36% increase in usage has been recorded at council-run leisure facilities at Nairn, Invergordon, Alness, Dingwall, Ullapool, Fortrose and Gairloch since the introduction of 8,000 High Life cards to individuals and families.

As a result, members of the Councilís Education Culture and Sport Committee have agreed to extend the High Life scheme to include the council-run leisure facilities at Wick and Thurso Swimming Pools; Sutherland Swimming Pool Complex, Golspie; Isle of Skye Swimming Pool, Portree; Tain Royal Academy Community Complex; and Culloden Academy Community Complex in Inverness.

Aimed at encouraging everyone to adopt a healthier lifestyle and to make leisure opportunities affordable to all, High Life cardholders can enjoy unlimited access to all leisure centre run activities for as little as £9.99 per month. Family monthly payments of £14.99 are also proving very popular, while anyone in receipt of Income Support pays just 50p a visit.

Councillor Neil Clark, Vice-Chairman of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee, said: "High Life makes a wide range of leisure activities such as swimming, fitness workouts, tennis, badminton and aerobics classes affordable for people to take part on a regular basis. The joy of the scheme is that it is very simple. Everyone's High Life card looks the same so there is no stigma for people out of work having to show proof of benefit.

"A recent survey showed that in addition to increased participation levels, 36% of High Life users who qualify for a concession are now taking part in regular leisure activities for the very first time. Three quarters of cardholders taking part in the survey told us that having a High Life card had encouraged them and their families to visit their local leisure centre more often than before, while over half told us that since joining the scheme they had tried new activities. When asked what the main benefits of High Life were, the top two answers were; value for money and improved health and well-being through regular exercise."

The council is also negotiating with Caledonia Community Leisure Limited the option to include Inverness Aquadome and Sports Centre within the High Life scheme.

Anyone wishing to find out more about how they can join High Life should pay a visit to their local leisure centre or telephone (01349) 868513.