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Big plans for pool

Thursday, 22nd November, 2012

The YMCA has announced a range of new programs when they take control of the Aquatic Centre on December 1. The YMCA has announced a range of new programs when they take control of the Aquatic Centre on December 1.

By Ben Sheffield

The YMCA has unveiled a range of programs and activities, including learn to swim, aqua fitness classes and 'dive in' movie nights that it will introduce when the Aquatic Centre comes under YMCA management on December 1.

The announcement of the new learn to swim classes comes after the recent cancellation of learn to swim sessions run by the NSW Sport and Recreation Department, following a decision by City Council not to waive recently introduced lane hire fees.

The YMCA teaches more than 15,000 people to swim each year at more 20 centres across NSW. Learn to Swim will officially begin at the start of the school term in February but a two week intensive course, Holiday Splash, will be offered in January.

As well as learn to swim, the YMCA will also launch its health and wellness program for older adults, PrYme Movers, and aqua aerobics will also be on offer.

The YMCA has also bought an inflatable movie screen to host family 'dive-in' movie nights next year.

Last month Council's Manager of Infrastructure, Paul DeLisio, forecast 90,000 visitors to the pool in the coming 12 months, which would eclipse the record annual attendance of 66,000, set in 2009.

While he did not have specific figures, YMCA Transitions Manager, Brent Perkins, said he was confident that the raft of new programs would translate into increased attendance.

"If it is quite a hot summer, we would expect quite a percentage increase in attendance.

"Plus we're offering a lot of new programs, which will increase attendance.

"We've already had a lot of enquiries about learn to swim and birthday parties; we've already got our first party booked for a couple of week's time."

The new activities have also translated into a number of new jobs.

"The staff are tracking fantastically; we've got a number of new people and it was great the amount of existing staff who applied," Mr Perkins said.

"We've got some experienced staff coming across from council and some new faces.

"We've got lots of training organised; we've got 24 staff at the moment, which is a good increase on the previous number.

"I imagine we'll end up with in excess of 30 staff. We've got more interviews to come."

Mr Perkins said that the YMCA would offer a range of membership options geared toward families.

"The Y is all about making health and fitness affordable for families and to provide opportunities for families to be active together and this will be made possible through the range of Family Membership packages available at the Aquatic Centre.

"One package will enable a family to have unlimited access to the YMCA Broken Hill gym, the gym at the Aquatic Centre and the pool for $27.50 per week, with our other package including both gyms, the pool and two children in Learn to Swim for $35 per week," he said.

Mr Perkins said having handled numerous management transitions before, that the YMCA was well placed to manage the transition from Council to itself.

"I personally have been involved in several of these transitions; we did the Goulburn Aquatic Centre a few months ago.

"We've got a very good team of staff who come in and train the new staff and help set everything up.

"We really want to make the swimming centre the hub of the community; it's a fantastic facility.

"My biggest joy would be to see someone do an aqua class and then sitting on the lounge chairs after and having a coffee."

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