Leisure cen­tre in­stalls new div­ing blocks

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Marissa Ge­or­gopou­los

RIP­PLES St Marys Leisure Cen­tre’s swim squads are mak­ing a dif­fer­ent kind of splash as they leap into the water from the sport­ing venue’s “fancy” new div­ing blocks.

Re­plac­ing the 1960s con­crete blocks, the mod­ern fea­ture marks the start of the cen­tre’s planned multi mil­lion-dol­lar re­vamp.

Rip­ples gen­eral man­ager Paul Sheen said the State Govern­ment and Pen­rith Coun­cil jointly funded the $49,000 devel­op­ment.

Lon­don­derry state La­bor MP Prue Car se­cured a $24,500 grant and the coun­cil matched the fig­ure.

“It was enough to cover the near-Olympic stan­dard re­mov­able div­ing blocks and track start,” Mr Sheen said, adding they were “quite fancy and also suf­fi­ciently safe”.

“We have a bit of the grant left over which is the good news.

“If we can get the same an­chor sys­tem for in­door we can use the same blocks.”

Com­pet­i­tive swim­mers aren’t the only ones ben­e­fit­ing from the equip­ment.

The blocks will be used for the many swim­ming car­ni­vals Rip­ples hosts each year.

Ms Car was happy to lobby on be­half of Rip­ples for the up­grade, an ad­di­tion which would ben­e­fit all users, she said.

“We are get­ting to peak sea­son, there are thou­sands of peo­ple there ev­ery day and it’s just an­other step in im­prov­ing that fa­cil­ity,” Ms Car said.

“There is a big vi­sion for that place; I will be work­ing with them ... to try to get them as much sup­port as pos­si­ble go­ing into the fu­ture.”

A pro­posed $21 mil­lion re- devel­op­ment for the cen­tre was launched last year in a bid to coun­ter­act a fall in the com­pany’s rev­enue at its St Marys and Pen­rith sites.

Call­ing for more govern­ment fund­ing, the board in­tends to swap two out­door pools for a zero-depth splash pad as the next step.

“It would be an amaz­ing as­set for the St Marys com­mu­nity,” Mr Sheen said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to rip­plesnsw.com.au.

Rip­ples' gen­eral man­ager Paul Sheen and Lon­don­derry MP Prue Car with Rip­ple's St Marys squad mem­bers Monique Buksh, , 12, and Monique Turner,Turne 10, use the new start­ing blocks . Pic­ture: David Swift DIVE IN New blocks

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