To the extreme!

23/7/2011'XC opens at Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead.'Perry Grant 16
23/7/2011'XC opens at Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead.'Perry Grant 16

EXCITED crowds queued up in anticipation of being the first to use a new extreme sports centre when it opened its doors on Saturday.

Dozens of eager daredevils couldn’t wait to get inside the new £5 million XC centre after its 10am launch in Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead, at the weekend.

The centre holds a number of amazing brand-new facilities including the UK’s only indoor concrete and wooden skate park and one of the world’s biggest indoor caving networks.

Also on offer are 14-metre-high climbing walls and a challenging high ropes course.

The number of people lining up to get inside the centre was no surprise following the wave of interest that has surrounded the centre’s construction.

This interest included a number of harmless late night break-ins where impatient enthusiasts had broken in to have their pictures taken with the facilities.

The centre has also managed to incorporate new offices, counselling rooms, classrooms and a clinic belonging to Youth Connexions, a group that supports young people.

Schools in the area, such as Longdean School, have already expressed an interest in using the XC Centre and its classroom facilities.

Chief executive of Dacorum Sports Trust Dave Cove said: “It was a brilliant day and the opening went remarkably smoothly.

“The centre was busy all day and the skate park was at full capacity throughout the morning.

“We had really good feedback with a lot of people realising the quality of the centre.

“Many visitors said they’d be returning soon, with one lad saying he’d be back in 11½ hours – when we opened the next day.”

See a spread of pictures from the opening in this week’s Gazette, on sale now.