The overnight train and ferry took us to the remote Shetland Islands, the furthest
north part of the UK. The many centres there are financed by a fund set up from
Oil Money, paid to the islanders when a large terminal was built to handle North
Sea Oil. It is remarkable that the Shetland people decided to spend this money on
a chain of excellent Leisure Centres, bringing popular exercise facilities, including
swimming pools, to the people of even the smaller islands, several of which have
a population of under 1000.
Travelling south, we reached Kilmarnock, not far from Glasgow, where a large custom-built
mobile unit goes to the people, especially in smaller and deprived communities. Everyone
over 16 is invited to have a free medical checkup, and those in need are advised
to visit their doctor and start an exercise programme where appropriate at a community
fitness centre, such as the Galleon Centre in Kilmarnock.