Olympic triathlete and free family fun day to mark pool opening

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Jun 6, 2018

The brand new Wanaka pool facility will open to the community on Sunday 10 June with two-time Olympic triathlete and 2013 XTERRA World Champion, Nicky Samuels making a guest appearance at both the opening ceremony and family fun day straight after.

The official opening of the $12.8m, three-pool complex at Wanaka Recreation Centre, Three Parks will see Mrs. Samuels, a Wanaka-local who trained regularly at the current pool on Plantation Road, and Queenstown Lakes District Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod cut the ribbon together.

They will be joined by representatives from key funding partners Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust, Lottery Grants Board, Graham and Olive West Charitable Trust and Rotary Wanaka plus other Councillors, Wanaka Community Board members, QLDC Sport and Recreation staff, contractors and other stakeholders.

Free public swimming begins at 10.00am after a ‘first splash’ by existing pool members selected via a prize draw. A pool party with games, competitions and inflatables will run from 11.00am-2.00pm with the pools closing at 4.00pm.

The existing Wanaka Recreation Centre, adjacent to the pool building, will be open as normal from 9.00am-5.00pm with free use of the indoor and outdoor courts all day.

Michael Skerrett, Ngāi Tahu – Waihōpai, performed a blessing at the new pool on Friday morning to mark its handover from lead contractor, Cook Brothers Construction (CBC) to Queenstown Lakes District Council. Michael and his wife, Winsome were joined by key members of the project team from CBC, architects Warren and Mahoney and project management consultants RCP as well as Councillors and Wanaka Community Board members.

QLDC Sport and Recreation Manager, Simon Battrick said he was looking forward to welcoming the first swimmers very soon.

“This has been a major project for Council and the project team and it’s going to be a real community asset for the Upper Clutha. Moving from one pool to three enables us to meet the needs of a growing population and cater much better for the different needs of groups like kids learning to swim, older adults and lap swimmers,” said Mr Battrick.

The new complex features a 25m, eight-lane lap pool, adult hot pool and a dedicated learners’ pool with separate toddlers’ area. It shares its main entrance and reception area with the existing Wanaka Recreation Centre but with its own changing facilities including male and female change rooms, three family change rooms and one accessible change room.

From Monday 11 June all facilities at Wanaka Recreation Centre will be open 6.00am–9.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.00am–8.00pm on weekends and public holidays. A range of membership options and concession cards are on sale now featuring special early bird promotions.

The existing Wanaka Pool on Plantation Road will close to the public with a pool party from 2.00-4.00pm on Saturday 9 June. Wanaka & Districts Lions Club, instrumental in the pool’s opening in 1992, will perform the official closing at 4.45pm.

A Council report with options for the future of the old pool site will be completed before the end of the year.