Published: 14:42, 29 September 2020
| Updated: 16:55, 29 September 2020
A man playing badminton at a sports centre died after being taken ill on the court.
Staff rushed to help the man at Strood Sports Centre last night before paramedics and police arrived but sadly he could not be resuscitated and died at the scene.
It is understood the man was playing with friends during the session at the centre in Watling Street when he collapsed at about 6.50pm on Monday.
A spokesman for Medway Council, which runs the centre, said: "Despite the swift efforts of our staff on site and the paramedics who attended, they were unable to resuscitate him.
"The police also attended. Our thoughts and condolences go out today to the family and friends of the gentleman and we would like to thank our staff and the emergency services who attended and worked so hard to assist at the scene."
A footballer who was waiting to enter the centre for his regular session reported seeing paramedics and police outside when he arrived at about 7.30pm.
The man said: "I was waiting outside to attend my usual Man vs Fat football session. The emergency services were there before I arrived.
"I never managed to get inside the centre itself. Lots of worried customers were ushered out quickly. One woman was being comforted as she was in floods of tears.
"Police officers and staff were dispersing the customers waiting outside. There was a lot of worried people both leaving and arriving. They did well to keep it calm."
The centre is open as usual today including the gym and pool but the sports hall is closed and some classes have been cancelled, the council confirmed.
Many customers have been contacted directly about their bookings, a spokesman said.
Group spin classes, FitSteps class, badminton sessions and Senior Rackets sessions have been called off today.
Ambulance spokesman Rich Airey said: "We were called at approximately 6.50pm yesterday to reports a man had collapsed at Strood Leisure Centre. Ambulance crews attended the scene but sadly attempts to resuscitate the man proved unsuccessful and he died at the scene."
A police spokesman said a report is being prepared for the coroner.