Two decades after opening Shepparton’s Aquamoves, former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett came back to celebrate the impact the health and fitness centre has had.
Mr Kennett returned to Aquamoves for its 20th birthday celebration yesterday, acknowledging the milestone for a centre which received significant community opposition in its planning and development phases.
He said Greater Shepparton City Council had managed to maintain the centre and keep it relevant in an ever-changing world.
‘‘For me it’s a great pleasure to be here and to know that something has not only survived, but is thriving,’’ he said.
‘‘We hope the facility will continue to grow and service the population and I wish you all good health, both physically and mentally, because we know that a long life is going to be better guaranteed if you’re physically and mentally active.’’
Aquamoves delivers a wide range of group fitness, gym and aquatic programs and attracts more than 600000 visitors each year, with an average of 2000 visitors to the centre each day.
Aquamoves has more than 2000 members.
It is home to Shepparton Swimming Club, Goulburn Valley Masters Swimming Club and Shepparton Lifesaving Club.
Among guests was Shepparton resident Pam Pogue, who has keep active through the centre since its inception, and said the centre had made a huge difference to her life.
Since opening, Aquamoves has undergone significant redevelopment, with a 2005 masterplan recently completed.
Active Living manager Tony Tranter, who manages Aquamoves among a myriad of other sporting facilities in the region, said the centre had managed to stay true to its beginnings despite rapid enhancement.
‘‘When it started off there was a perception of it just being a gym and a pool, but I think now it’s a real whole community there,’’ Mr Tranter said.
‘‘We have kids learning how to swim from six months old, to 90 year-olds, and we have a lot more allied health type programs here too.’’
Mr Tranter said the team was about to enter its next phase of master planning, which he hoped would enhance the allied health services already available.
‘‘We’re seeing that as a goal over the next 20 years, so we’re starting to really work on our relationship with Goulburn Valley Health, and connecting people between those two services,’’ he said.
‘‘The short answer is we don’t know exactly what the centre will look like in 20 years, but it’s going to be a really exciting venture.’’