A $24 MILLION five-year dream has come true for Rooty Hill RSL.
The club’s Sydney Gymnastic and Aquatic Centre (SGAC) opened yesterday to the public with learn-to-swim and gym sports participants among the first to use it.
Construction finished last week and staff spent the weekend moving in.
Aquatic centre manager Lloyd Rothwell has been in the industry for 11 years.
The centre has two 25-metre indoor pools, one for lap swimmers and squads, and one for learn-to-swim programs.
‘‘I saw this job as a chance to be part of something new that will be special and a cornerstone of the community for years,’’ Mr Rothwell said.
‘‘I’m really excited for the kids who will use it, and proud of the hard work that’s been done.
‘‘It’s going to be a real asset for the community.’’
He regards swimming as a non-negotiable life skill.
‘‘Childhood drownings are at
epidemic levels in Australia, particularly in backyard pools,’’ Mr Rothwell said.
‘‘Learning how to swim is the number one layer of protection in saving lives.
‘‘We encourage the community to come and see us.’’
Separate from the aquatic centre is a 4000-square-metre gymnasium where eight disciplines can be performed at any one time.
‘‘There’s no doubt every gymnast will be impressed when they see it,’’ Rooty Hill RSL marketing general manager Ian Lowe said.
‘‘It’s been a long time coming.
‘‘The centre was a whopping hole 12 months ago.’’
Staff have been inundated with inquiries about the centre.
‘‘The critical thing is to provide access to high quality facilities to everyone in the region,’’ Mr Lowe said.
‘‘Part of our goal was building a project both the community and club can be proud of.
‘‘I hope in five years’ time, SGAC will be the best place to train in this country if you’re a gymnast and that the gymnasium is a facility Australia can be proud of.’’
Sydney West Sports Medicine has moved in, offering physiotherapy, Pilates, ‘‘exerciselogy’’, hydrotherapy, podiatry and a dietician.
‘‘It will become a centre of excellence in sports medicine as its profile grows,’’ Mr Lowe said.
Premier Barry O’Farrell will officially open the facility later this week.
An open day will be held on August 24.