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Downer congratulates Gore Multisport
Aquatic Centre on their 10th Anniversary
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"The recreational opportunities now available at Wayland
Park are envied up and down the country."
The aquatic centre was one facet of the multisport
complex, which also features the Ice Sports Southland
ice skating rink, the MLT Event Centre and an all-weather
hockey turf. There was a distinct synergy between all
facilities, one that oozes physical activity in a bustling
way, Mr Soper said.
He congratulated aquatic services manager Kim Peterson
and her team of professional and dedicated staff.
"I am continually amazed at the innovative programmes
the staff implement."
The Leaping Frogs Swim School, which delivers over
1820 lessons annually, was a major success story, Mr
Soper said. The waiting list for private lessons showed
it was a highly sought after service, provided to a high
With 10 years under its belt, the aquatic centre was set
to undergo some plant maintenance in the coming years
which will set it up for another decade, he said.
The Council's parks and recreation manager Ian Soper has high praise for the aquatic centre and
says his division was privileged to be able to offer residents such a wonderful facility.
Gore Aquatic Centre
Aquatic Centre Celebrates a Milestone
Ten Years On & Going Strong
Time to Reminisce for Long Serving Swim Instructor
Bringing a Dream to Life
When people talk about the aquatic centre, it is no
coincidence that they talk about a friendly, fun place to visit.
The aquatic centre's birthday celebrations, as with any birthday, are proving a
great time to reminisce.
I was going to begin with "I remember when... "
But I guess that would mean I am showing my age.
AQUATIC centre manager Kim Peterson has forged
a clear path towards building an environment that is
inviting for young and old since she took over the reins
When the aquatic centre opened in 2002, the fun stuff
was confined to the children's pool, with the mushroom
waterfall, bubbles and spray. It did not take long to
discover that where the old Centennial pool had diving
boards and a Tarzan rope, the new pool was not geared
towards exuberant teenagers.
Kim said things started to change when a working party
was set up on 2005 to identify what needed to happen to
bring people to the pool.
The need for interesting equipment was quickly
identified and a Tarzan rope was introduced. An
acquisition plan for inflatables, to be used at both the
Gore and Mataura pools, was also started.
"Now we are well known for having fun inflatables,
in fact people travel from out of town, especially
Invercargill, because of what we have on offer here."
The introduction of pool parties has been one of
the many success stories. The first pool party saw
300 people converge on the aquatic centre. Other
programmes are also run over the school holidays.
Kim has also focused on promoting health and wellbeing.
The 'kick start your fitness' programme, which is run
over an eight-week period, has been popular as has the
Employing a fulltime swim school co-ordinator, who
could focus on building good quality swimming lessons,
has seen the Leaping Frogs Swim School consistently
deliver a high standard of service, she said.
These are all tangibles but Kim is quick to point out a lot
of work has gone on behind the scenes, which has been
just as important.
"My focus initially was building a strong team
environment, training staff in all the different areas
of the department so that basically everybody knows
everything around here."
There has been a lot of work around staff buy-in and
making the aquatic centre and complex their own, which
makes a huge difference, Kim said.
ONE person whose memories go back further than most
is part-time swim instructor Christine Karena, who
has worked at the pool in either a fulltime or part-time
capacity since 1991.
In those days the Council operated the Centennial pool,
in the predominantly industrial part of Gore in Mersey
Street. It had served generations but by the 1990s had
begun to show its age.
"It was terrible," recalls Christine.
Birds flying around in the rafters would greet staff in the
morning, while it was common place for insulation and
rust from the ceiling to fall into the water below.
As the possibility of a new aquatic centre became a
reality there was a lot of anticipation and excitement
among staff, she said.
When the aquatic centre finally opened, nothing could
take away the staffs' pride in the state of the art facility.
For Christine there is still a sense of pride, even after
She believes the public did not fully appreciate the
aquatic centre initially but over the years patronage and
support has markedly increased.
"It has been a huge step up (from the old pool).
"Being part of the ice rink and then the stadium has
been a bonus."
Over the last decade there have been other additions to
the multisports complex, such as the all-weather hockey
turf. The various activities mean there is a "real buzz"
about the place at weekends.
"The public should be proud of it."
Even after 21 years, Christine has no plans to give up
her work at the pool. As long as she still gets a kick
out of seeing her young pupil's progress and there is
the camaraderie among staff, she will be fronting up
poolside for a few more years.
It seems no time since the Council began entertaining
the idea that a new aquatic centre would be good. The
reality of today is that we have, in Gore, an aquatic
centre second to none, and a facility that is in constant
Creating the reality of today's complex didn't come easy
and the pages past of the Ensign reveal the community
debate preceding its construction. It was a debate
focused not only on the need for a new pool but where
it should be sited. I think the right choice was made
and now we have the very solid foundations of a major
regional sporting hub.
Well done to all who have been part of bringing the
dream to life. Swimming for health and pleasure can't
be beaten, particularly in an environment like the Gore
Gore District Mayor
• Lifeguards and supervisors
• Reception crew
• Swim School team
• 10.30am - Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks and Gore couple
Ernie and Joy MacManus, who were the first members of the
public to swim in the new pool when it opened, will cut our
• A continental breakfast for early morning swimmers.
• Every 10th person through the door will swim for free.
• 10-swim concessions bought on the day will be half price.
• Spot prizes • Staff baby photo competition results announced.
• From 6pm to 8.30pm there's plenty of fun with our inflatables and games.
... & much much more!
IT'S OUR 10TH BIRTHDAY NEXT FRIDAY,
SO COME JOIN US FOR A PARTY!
Guess how many
people have visited
the pool in the last
10 years and
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