Get free leisure centre passes during the Olympic and Paralympic Games

County Durham leisure centres are throwing open their doors to encourage people to become inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic games and get fit and active – for free.

Durham County Council is giving away free five-visit passes at the 10 centres it runs. The passes can be used for gym sessions, group exercise classes or swimming. Free leisure discount cards are also available.

Cllr Maria Plews, the authority’s cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, said: “This August and September we’re offering a great chance for those who feel inspired by the Rio games to try out new activities, learn new techniques and routines, and improve their health and happiness.”

To take advantage of the free session offer, you must have a Thrive Leisure Discount Card and visit the leisure centres during the Olympic Games, until Sunday 21st August, or the Paralympic Games, from Wednesday 7th to Sunday 18th September.

If you do not already have a card, which usually costs £5, then you can pick one up for free during the offer period. The card can then also be used to save money on a range of activities including squash, table tennis, sauna and steam rooms.

In addition, anyone who visits five times will be entered into a prize draw to win tickets for an event at Durham’s Gala Theatre.

And as an added incentive, and a bid to encourage longer term fitness, those who decide to take up a gym membership in either August or September will benefit from 50% off their first month’s fees if paying via direct debit, or up to three months extra free if paying for an annual membership upfront.*

The offer is available at Abbey, Chester-le-Street, Freeman’s Quay, Meadowfield, Newton Aycliffe, Shildon-Sunnydale, Spennymoor and Teesdale leisure centres, and the Riverside and Woodhouse Close leisure complexes.