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Versatile Play Equipment Creates An Explosion At Magnet!

‘Weirwolf’ In Waddon OpenS New Disability- Friendly Facility

Paralympian gold medallist and local resident David Weir has helped open Croydon Council’s new disability-friendly leisure centre which features a 25m main pool plus learner pool. The ‘Weirwolf’ was invited to unveil the state of the art facilities at Waddon Leisure Centre – a £15m investment by the council through its urban regeneration partnership with John Laing. In accepting an honorary membership, David acknowledged what a fantastic job the council had done and was happy to say he would be bringing his family to the centre in the future.

He was delighted with the disabled facilities, saying: “I was very impressed with the pool and the changing rooms. It’s great to

see so much equipment that is so suitable for disabled people.” Top-of-the-range facilities are also available for people of all abilities, from casual users wanting an occasional workout, to regular gym and swimming fanatics. Councillor Phil Thomas, Croydon’s cabinet member with responsibility for the borough’s sports facilities, said: “We’ve created a brand new facility here which is fully accessible to everyone but that offers exceptionally good facilities for physically disabled users. “Having David Weir with us to celebrate this event is a great honour and underlines how important it is that the UK continues to invest in sport for people of every level of ability.”

Hippo have been proving to UK Leisure Centres that versatile interactive water play equipment is ideal for reviving tired pools, increasing usage and revenue regardless of the pool type, shape and size. Facilities at Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead include a 25 metre competition pool, a teaching and fun pool and two spa pools. The management wanted to make the dated facilities more attractive to local families and increase and sustain long term visitor numbers. Increasing attendance from children of all ages whilst providing something special for the under eights were the focus of the installation. Hippo installed a Water Factory with two poolside water cannons to squirt water at a selection of targets situated over the teaching pool. Water falling from the targets into tipping buckets provides surprise play to those in the pool below.

A mini flume was installed to excite

the under eights. A Splash Zone featuring sensory play panels and a refurbished customised toddler slide was provided for the toddlers. The Splash Zone is popular with the 0-8 age group and great for increasing water confidence in special user groups. A total of 33 interactive water points were installed. Hippo met a tight installatio n lead time without affecting the pool activity programme.

After investing £90,000, Centre Manager Chris Hall commented: “Initial feedback from our customers provides proof we have invested well as 90% of our users have commented that the refurbishment is fantastic.”

On the back of this investment success, Hippo has installed a spectacular new flume slide alongside the competition pool to bring a fresh vibe to this area of the facility. The new ‘Olympian’ speed slide was designed through the joint collaboration of Centre Manager Chris Hall and Hippo’s Andy Taylor. The Olympian has ensured record numbers throughout the winter and Chris is already thinking about what he can invest in next!

Hippo Leisure Products Ltd 01752 771740

Music Festival Pays Homage To Its Swimming Pool Roots Renowned as Europe’s Woodstock, the Isle of Wight Music Festival is synonymous with famous performances from legendary artists like Hendrix, Dylan, Morrison, Bowie, Jagger, McCartney and more.

What is less appreciated is that the festival was originally conceived as a community fund raising venture with the purpose of trying to raise sufficient money to construct a swimming pool.

At the time, in the late 1960’s there were no public accessible swimming pool facilities at all on the island, necessitating a ferry trip for any school or competitive swimming activities. This year, in homage to the original concept, the festival organisers are, once again, helping to support a local community swimming pool venture. The Ryde Community Pool is a ‘not

14 April 2013 SPN

for profit’ local trust recently established to operate and maintain a 25m public indoor pool. For a community pool of this nature to continue to be viable, there is an obvious necessity to raise funds from all available sources and also to keep operating costs down to an absolute minimum.

Energy costs for an indoor pool would typically represent a significant portion of the overall budget and optimising energy efficiency to the

maximum can determine whether or not such a pool continues to be economically viable. Recognising the importance, Ryde Community Pool utilised a Heatstar Taurus Climate Control system, which offers modern energy saving features such as a dehumidification heat pump and intelligent EC fan technology.

Ken Dack, who oversees the pool’s mechanical systems for the Trust,

commented that the Heatstar system has demonstrated complete reliability and also that the costs of routine maintenance were minimal.

This summer’s Isle of Wight festival is headlined by Bon Jovi and The Killers.

Heatstar Limited 01983 521 465

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