Late last month Mornington Peninsula Shire and Belgravia Leisure announced that Yawa Aquatic Centre would open to the public on Friday 25 June. Hours after the announcement, Victoria went into its fourth lockdown.
While construction has been able to continue under the latest restrictions, the lockdown has limited access to the centre and halted essential training.
Despite best efforts, Belgravia Leisure has not been able to host new staff on site to undertake important and mandatory swim teacher, lifeguard and emergency management training.
To be able to open, all staff must be trained, qualified and importantly, be familiar with the centre.
With restrictions slowly easing, Belgravia Leisure is back on site working hard, albeit with smaller staff groups, to complete the essential training. This is expected to take an additional two weeks, allowing us to safely open Yawa Aquatic Centre to the public on Friday 9 July.
The Yawa team is also hopeful that the current Covid-19 limit of no more than 50 patrons per venue indoors will increase significantly so when we do open the facility, we’ll be able to welcome more patrons into the centre.
Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor Despi O’Connor:
“It’s bitter-sweet to be in this position. Coronavirus has again thrown a spanner in the works. While the building is looking fantastic and is ready for use, it’s frustrating that we have to wait another couple of weeks.
“I want to thank our community and our new members for their patience and the Shire and Belgravia teams for their hard work in getting us to this point. I promise, Yawa will be worth the wait!”
“The free community open day event planned for Sunday 4 July is on hold until restrictions have eased further, and it is safe for us to have a big celebration we all deserve! We’ll update you as soon as we can.”
Quotes attributable to Dan Andrews, Centre Manager:
“The window between the end of construction and the opening of the facility was scheduled for critical staff training and qualification activities. Unfortunately, this has been impacted due to the current Covid-19 restrictions. As restrictions ease, we’ll endeavour to complete all test operations throughout the coming weeks.”
“I can’t wait to welcome the Shire community into the centre and thank you all for your understanding and patience.”