Swimmers Guide: Newmarket Leisure Centre, Exning Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 OEA

East Region Masters & Inter-County event.

This centre was opened in 2008 and consists of a 25m 6 lane competition pool and a multi use variable depth training pool. It also has a gym and a Café/Bar. The swimmers are housed with spectators which is along one side of the pool. The changing area for both pools is unisex cubicles and the lockers £1 refundable in 2012.

Eating facilities - This is the best Swimming pool Café I’ve been too. It even surpasses Sheffield. Not only can you buy hot and cold food, but the Café serves alcohol as well. So your long suffering spouse can bevy it up while you’re knocking off the pb’s!

Car Park – There is a large free car park in front of the centre, but gala Swimmers are usually requested to park at a school cark park at the rear of the centre. It’s only a couple of minutes walk so no hardship and it’s still free.

The main pool itself is a deck level 6x 25 m pool, with turn boards. They have very good blocks which include a step up, which is very helpful for older swimmers. The swim down pool is nice and warm, but can get busy. The PA is nice and clear. As are the starters mic and buzzer.

Seating can be a bit cramp and at 2012 East Region meet they decided to introduce chairs by the railings which meant the seating area was even more cramped.

East Region Masters SC Meet

This meet is usually held during the first week in October. A one day meet. It’s split into 4 sections. It includes all disciplines up to 200m and a 400 Free as well. They also have mens / womens /mixed Free and Medly relays.

The entry fee is £5 per swim (2012)which maybe a bit steep given the level of competition, but you do get presented with your medal by the current East Region President which is a lovely touch.

The event is very well run and it starts around 9am and finishes around 6pm. Also there is usually a swim shop in attendance.


  • Well Run meet
  • Lovely Pool and warm down facilities
  • Fantastic café


  • Turns can be slippy

Overall - Overall A good meet

East Region Inter-Counties

This event is usually held in November and is a Relay and Sprint competition held nationally for all competing counties.

The East region event held at Newmarket usually includes Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

To compete you need to be selected by your County’s Team Manager. Bedfordshire’s TM is John Bellis.

The meet usually lasts an afternoon and is fast and furious. The top honours are usually contested between Hertfordshire, Essex and Norfolk. In 2011 lots of club and county records were broken, so if selected it’s worth donning the fast suit and going for a quick time. As there are 6 teams with as many as 20 swimmers in each team as you can imagine the pool is pretty busy, but the atmosphere is great.


  • Fast and furious competition
  • Fantastic facility
  • Great Atmosphere


  • Turns can be slippy
  • Bedfordshire don’t win

Overall - It’s worth going just to spectate.