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Massive turn out for pool opening

Massive turn out for pool opening

An estimated 6000-plus people helped celebrate the opening of Manukau City Council's newly extended swimming pool complex at Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centre last weekend.

Besides making a splash in the new pools, many families came along to enjoy the fun activities, entertainment and demonstrations and were treated to a great time.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis officially reopened the pool in the presence of his predecessor, Sir Lloyd Elsmore who the centre and park is named after. Sir Elsmore was the second mayor of Manukau from 1968 to 1983.

The function and powhiri was officiated by Michael Padfield, Chair of the Pakuranga Community Board, and attended by city councillors, community board members, MP Maurice Williamson, local kuia and kaumatua, contractors and staff.

Sir Barry says that with about 35% or 95,000 of Manukau's people under the age of 20, there is a strong emphasis on family and young people, leisure, recreation and cultural expression.

"Since inception of the city in 1965, successive councils have pursued a vision of providing high quality facilities and services to promote art, culture, recreation and sport.

"Our city contains some of the finest recreational and sporting facilities in New Zealand including the magnificent 74 hectare Lloyd Elsmore Park. This outstanding active and passive recreational space contains many sporting and cultural organisations, including the Council owned Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centre," says Sir Barry.

"We have created a world class leisure centre, another wonderful community asset for present and future generations of Manukau people. And who knows, some of our future champions may train here."

Pakuranga councillor David Collings and noteable long distance swimmer and Howick Community Board member Sandra Blewett swam the first lap of the new 25m pool.

After opening to the public from noon on Saturday, several swimmers clocked up their first laps in the new 25-metre lane swimming pool, while others chose to play in the leisure pool, or relax in the warmth of the new sauna, spa and steam room. Everyone was clearly impressed with the scope and quality of the expansion, which also includes a separate teaching pool and a toddlers' splash pool.

Centre manager Michael Groom says it was the busiest weekend the centre had ever seen, and it was a brilliant way to open the new facilities. The $8.6 million expansion started last year and also includes an enlarged fitness centre, new café, foyer area, changing rooms and car park.

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