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Southern Centre QEII opening next Monday

MEDIA INVITATION Tuesday 26 August 2003

Southern Centre QEII opening next Monday

The Southern Centre is a world class facility that will offer a wide range of recreation and leisure experiences for people with profound and multiple disabilities, says its co-ordinator, Sarah Kelly.

Among its many high-tech features are a bubble wall with eight bubble tubes that change colour and produce sounds; a light zone with an ultra violet light display; a theromin or musical instrument that is activated by the proximity of the body, an interactive sound floor, and a bungy chair.

The Southern Centre was initially a project of Turning Point 2000 Children 2000.

On the closure of Turning Point 2000 in April 2001, funding for the Centre was passed to Christchurch City Council Leisure, to continue the project. Funding for the co-ordinator’s position is provided by Christchurch City Council Leisure.

“The Centre has been named the Southern Centre in recognition of the partnership with the Southern Trust that enabled us to design and make some of our most exciting equipment,” Sarah says. “Substantial assistance has also come from our other principal partner the Kiwanis International New Zealand South Pacific District Division Eleven Clubs, who with the backing of Lesley Keast have supported the project from its inception.”

Many charitable trusts throughout New Zealand have contributed funds to the project, including The Community Trust, Lottery Grants Board and The Gama Foundation.

Christchurch architect Ross Maguire designed the Centre, with several Christchurch companies producing the custom designed equipment. The project has also had a tremendous amount of support from community organisations, who have given their time and skills, Sarah says.

While the Southern Centre is open to everybody, priority will be given to people with disability, their families and caregivers. “Teachers and therapists are also expected to make good use of the Centre and it will be a great complement to the other recreational facilities at QEII,” Sarah says. The facility is predicted to be well patronised by people from throughout the South Island

The Southern Centre will be open for bookings from 15 September. Bookings can be made through the QEII Swim Smart Booking Office, Ph 941 7118, Fax: 941 7182
Email: QEIISwimSchool@ccc.govt.nz

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