Birthday celebrations go swimmingly at Gympie ARC
THE Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre enjoyed a successful first birthday celebration yesterday, as locals braved gloomy conditions to help the world-class facility shine.
The ARC's first year went so well that Division 3 Councillor Mal Gear, standing in for Mayor Mick Curran to cut the cake, announced free entry for the entire community this Saturday to cap off the festivities.
"Because council is really happy and grateful for the support we get from the community, this Saturday everyone's allowed in for free, including the slide,” Cr Gear said.
"We've had more than 147,000 [people] through the gate, 32 staff which is nearly double what we started with, around 999 members, and 13 aqua classes a week. That's a pretty good first year,” Cr Gear said.
"We thought it'd get huge numbers, but I think it's exceeded our expectations.”
Cr Gear said he'd only heard positive feedback about the centre, and congratulated centre operators Belgravia Leisure on all their "great work.”
Centre Manager Courtney Murphy said the centre had a "whole lot of things in the pipeline” to "up the ante” over the next 12 months.
"What we've had so far has blown expectations out of the water for Belgravia and council,” she said.
"The members here are coming a few times a week, which is always really nice to know that people have that commitment to a healthy lifestyle.”
The centre is set to double its staff to account for the large turnout at the weekend.
Entry is free for all who want to enjoy the centre's first-rate facilities this Saturday, so head to the Gympie ARC on Tozer Park Rd from 6am or visit http://gympiearc.com.au/.