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Tomaree Aquatic Centre in Salamander Bay more accessible, sun safe after upgrade

RENOVATIONS: Tomaree Aquatic Centre staff (from left): Rhonda Kennedy, Gypsy Donovan, Madeleine Lock and Jen Corbett under the new centre's new pavilion and in front of the kiosk.
RENOVATIONS: Tomaree Aquatic Centre staff (from left): Rhonda Kennedy, Gypsy Donovan, Madeleine Lock and Jen Corbett under the new centre's new pavilion and in front of the kiosk.

Thousands of dollars in renovations have transformed Tomaree Aquatic Centre into a more accessible and sun safe facility for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

The Salamander Bay centre has completed a refurb comprising a new kiosk servery area, a relocated office and admin area and a much-needed undercover pavilion featuring tables and chairs overlooking the two pools and water slide.

Venue manager Rhonda Kennedy said that the newly constructed outdoor shade with seating provided patrons with a more relaxing and favourable aspect, away from the direct sun.

"Safety was very much front of mind when designing the renovations, which were jointly funded by Belgravia and Port Stephens Council," said Rhonda.

"The work was completed well before Christmas which allowed us to hold a number of end-of-school year functions in December and prepare for a busy summer school holiday period.

"We have also ensured the centre is as COVID safe as can be, including regularly cleaning down surfaces and equipment, and to date we have not had the misfortunate of dealing with a positive case."

In addition to the popular pool and water slide facilities, the centre offers barbecue and picnic facilities that families can enjoy all day long. There are volleyball nets and enough room for kids to enjoy a game of social cricket or soccer.

DAY OUT: Enjoying a day out at Tomaree Pool on Thursday were a couple of Port Stephens families: Stu, Carly, Anthony, Teigan with children Ellie, 11, Ryder, 9, Lennox, 5, Finn, 3, Vinny, 3 and May, 2.

DAY OUT: Enjoying a day out at Tomaree Pool on Thursday were a couple of Port Stephens families: Stu, Carly, Anthony, Teigan with children Ellie, 11, Ryder, 9, Lennox, 5, Finn, 3, Vinny, 3 and May, 2.

"To add to our safety features during the holidays, we have introduced a Keep Watch program for the under 5s and orange bands for non-swimming adult visitors. This allows our lifeguards to keep an extra eye on their movements," added customer service coordinator Jen Corbett.

The swim centre has kicked off many of its learn-to-swim and squad programs for the new year.

"The intensive lessons will run for the next two weeks before school starts and we have kids and masters groups back in action. There are also classes in aquafitness, pilates and stretching."

Rhonda said that the centre was determined to become more engaged with the Port Stephens community in 2022.

"At the end of last year we asked visitors and patrons to donate food stuffs under our Christmas Tree, which were then handed out to the vulnerable and homeless in the community through the Yacaaba Centre.

"It proved to be a huge success and we are looking at engaging in more such initiatives and/or activities in support of the local community."

Jen said that the centre accepted both the $100 Kids Vouchers and the Service NSW First Lap grants for kids wanting to participate in learn-to-swim classes in 2022.

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