THE Barraba swimming pool complex has been recognised as the best in NSW.
The centre, which boasts a toddler wading pool, waterslide and catch pool, a 33-metre pool with diving boards and an indoor hydrotherapy pool, has won the AH Pierce Memorial Shield for Facility of The Year Award.
The honours were announced and presented at the 50th annual Aquatic and Recreation Institute Conference at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.
Tamworth Regional Council said the award recognises aquatic facilities that have demonstrated best practice in their operations.
Pools technical officer Gary Johnson said the award demonstrated Barraba’s position as “the jewel in the crown” of the regional public pools the council operates.
Mr Johnson said there was extensive criteria reviewed for the award and considered areas of excellence within a facility including environmental impact, customer service, best practice guidelines and work health and safety procedures.
The Barraba memorial swimming complex has a main pool 33-metres in length, with two diving boards at the deep end and a shade structure on the shallow end, a circular children’s wading pool, a large waterslide and catch pool and an indoor hydrotherapy pool.
The 5000 square metre park-like grounds of the complex include a substantial barbecue area dotted with trees, shade structures and fenced play areas.
“The complex has an outstanding level of facilities to cater for its community of about 1500 residents,” Mr Johnson said.
“When Tamworth Regional Council was formed in 2004, the excellent condition of the facility inherited from the former Barraba Shire Council was recognised and continual improvement has been an ongoing priority.’’
Mr Johnson praised the efforts of current pool supervisor Shaun Wilson and previous supervisor Jill Fenn, along with staff members Callan Groth, Earnie Matheson and Morgan Phillips.
A 12-page submission outlined some of the achievements of the facility which recorded 12,000 visitors in the 2013-2014 swimming season.
Barraba also launched its own learn-to-swim classes after employing and training a local person to deliver the Swim & Survive program and gaining funding from the Aquatic and Recreation Institute to run an Active Ageing program.
The complex is also a social hub for Barraba and hosts two discos each summer featuring a DJ, a Youth Week activity with a portable climbing wall and hosts the town’s annual Christmas carols and a community celebration to mark the completion of the Split Rock Dam to Barraba pipeline.
The Barraba pool complex manager, Shaun Wilson, accepted the award last week.
In past years, the A H Pierce Memorial Shield has been awarded to Sydney’s Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Pyrmont, Shoalhaven Swim and Fitness at Ulladulla and Mingara One Fitness at Tumbi Umbi on the Central Coast.