The recent heat wave across SA might have broken some weather records along with some people’s temperament for who it was simply too hot. But the Unley Swimming Center became a Mecca for many people with its cool waters providing an excellent relief from the stress and burden of the day.
So popular was the centre with residents and climate refugees from neighboring councils that attendance records were broken.
It is places such as the Unley Swimming Pool which earn their keep as vital places for the community to come to. Not everyone can afford a swimming pool.
Our centre manager Nathan Byles tells the story in the following Memo:
The Swimming Centre has set two attendance records during Adelaide’s intense heat wave period. 5279 patrons visited the centre during the five days, a record for five consecutive days, since the centres refurbishment in 2004.
The largest daily attendance figure since 2004 was also recorded. 1719 patrons from the local and extended community visited the centre on Tuesday 14/1 when the temperature peaked at 45.1 degrees. Monday received the second highest attendance figure for the week with1536 patrons.
The staff, under extreme conditions did a fantastic job controlling large crowds and ensuring patron safety with no major incidents occurring. The centre increased its service on the first three days of the heatwave to close at 8:45pm. This to enable the community extended opportunity to cool off. The extended sessions did not occur on Thursday or Friday for the safety and well being of staff.
These attendance figures coincide with a capacity VACSWIM program. 403 children (believed to be the largest in the state) attended the centre for the annual water safety initiative. The income generated by the heatwave was welcomed with $30,548 received via the gate takings and kiosk over the 5 days. This revenue does not include the daily attendances to the VACSWIM program on day one and two of the heatwave ($2895) that will be invoiced at January end.
Since January 1st the Swimming Centre has been featured in the media including:
• A Messenger article promoting the Free Friday trail beginning February 7th, also syndicated to the Adelaide Now website and news.com
• Channel 7, 9 and 10 news all attended the centre during the VACSWIM program for footage
• Channel 7 did a live weather cross on Thursday evening 17/1
• Nova 91.9 commercial radio did their breakfast show (Lewis and Lowe) live from the centre on Friday 17/1 (worth around $6000 in promotional dollars for the centre)
I hope the weather remains favourable for the rest of the season with a late, hot, extended summer predicted.