Leisure centre installs new diving blocks
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