Swimming pools get off the block in 2017

DIVING IN: Lismore City Council's Major Recreation and Cultural Facilities manager Tony Duffy, GSAC Swim School co-ordinator Heidi Craig and deck supervisor Elizabeth Watts with her children, Aleksi, Nathaniel and Bethany.
DIVING IN: Lismore City Council's Major Recreation and Cultural Facilities manager Tony Duffy, GSAC Swim School co-ordinator Heidi Craig and deck supervisor Elizabeth Watts with her children, Aleksi, Nathaniel and Bethany. Sophie Moeller

LISMORE City Council's new man in charge of recreation has made it his resolution to highlight what is available to the community at Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre (GSAC) and the Memorial Baths this year.

Tony Duffy has held the title of Manager Major Recreation and Cultural Facilities, Arts Tourism and Leisure since September and recently returned from Italy where he worked as the centre/business manager

for the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) Europe for the past three years.

He has also managed major leisure, sports and aquatic facilities for organisations including the Australian Sports Commission, Major Venues Queensland and Gold Coast City Council.

Mr Duffy says he is excited about plans for the two main aquatic facilities in the city, which already attract more than 1000 kids through their turnstiles each term and have seen nearly 46,000 visitors between December 1 and January 9.

Earlier in the week Mayor Isaac Smith commented on concerns in the community that while temperatures reached 40 degrees over the new year holidays, Lismore's two main pools were closed.

"These concerns are valid and need to be addressed. I am not aware of this coming up in recent years but it needs to change. Pools need to be open longer hours when the temp goes above 33 in Lismore,” wrote Cr Smith on his Facebook feed.

While Mr Duffy said there was a lot to be done the "potential for growth” at the swimming arenas was great with many popular programs already in the pipeline.

He said GSAC, in particular, was a "major community hub for fitness and aquatics which held a lot of appeal for many different people in the community, as well as patrons coming in from outside.”

His team was interviewing for a new head coach

with a focus on "rebuilding the competitive side”

of the community swimming program as well as

training new staff at The Memorial Baths.

One of the most popular programs in the next couple of weeks is the Lismore Baths Carnival Clinic offering children an "intensive burst” to their preparation for the upcoming school swimming meet season.

In partnership with the Department of Sport and Recreation, GSAC is offering an Aboriginal Learn To Swim and Survive program for children aged three

to five years as well

as Summer School Holiday Intensives.

Topics:  gsac lismore city council lismore memorial baths

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