By Tyler Wright
Monbulk Aquatic Centre staff are inviting community members to celebrate 10 years since the redevelopment of the centre re on Saturday 12 August.
The facility – which opened in 1967 and was called the Baynes Park Community Pool – was taken over by Belgravia Leisure in 2013.
Venue manager Rachel Scott said when the redevelopment occurred, there was only a small baby pool, a 25-metre pool, and a room that doubled as the the gym and the fitness space.
“When it was closed down and the redevelopments happened, we got a brand new plant room, the office area, the cafe area, reception, and the gym was added as well,” Ms Scott said.
“Quite a large space was added onto it, which has meant that we’ve been able to offer quite a lot more programs to the previous small gym and swim that it was.
“We also run birthday parties, land based and water based.”
Servicing the Belgrave, Belgrave South, Emerald, Menzies Creek, Selby, Tecoma, Kallista and Olinda areas, Mr Scott said after a fallen tree left the pool unusable for 15 months after the June 2021 storm event, and through Covid, she realised how much patrons and members rely on the centre for their socialisation and also their health and fitness.
“Since opening, it’s taken a little while to warm up to it, but members have certainly flocked back,” she said.
“Now we’re at capacity in most areas, and what we’re finding now is that it’s like members, they’re greeting old friends again when they’re all coming back, getting used to stopping for a coffee and morning tea and having a good chat.
“It’s more than their health and fitness, it’s also for their mental health and to get out and about and see their friends, which was sadly taken away from them for so long.”
At the anniversary celebrations, which will run from 8am to 4pm, there will be a sausage sizzle, community market stalls, raffles and face painting.
Funds will go to the Belgravia Foundation, which will be injected back into the centre.
“At 2.45pm we’ll be putting the inflatable up for some fun and the Monbulk Marlins squad will also be coming in with some of their swimmers to do a demonstration,” Ms Scott said.
“At the same time we’ll also have a disco in the group fit room for kids that might like to not swim but to dance, because we also have a dance program here at the centre as well.
“For us, the focus of the day is to open the doors and have as many people come through, whether they’re members, whether they’ve been here before or not… to thank them all for their continued patronage and also for their patience during that long lockdown time and closure time.”
For more information, visit https://www.monbulkaquatic.com.au/ or the Monbulk Aquatic Centre Facebook page.