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6 September 2021

Whyalla Recreation Centre Wins Top Award

Whyalla Recreation Centre was recognised as the leading YMCA managed centre in South Australia at the annual YMCA South Australia awards, held in Adelaide on Saturday night (28 August).

The Centre, which YMCA manages on behalf of the Whyalla City Council, took out the prestigious Jack Massey Team of the Year award for 2020-21.

The award acknowledged the effort and commitment made by local staff and volunteers across a year that was among the most challenging ever encountered by the leading not-for-profit due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through high quality programs and services, community engagement, financial sustainability and alignment with YMCA values, Whyalla Recreation Centre created positive social, environmental and economic impact, and made a significant contribution to the local and regional community.

YMCA South Australia Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Mundy, presented the award and said award was due recognition for continued excellence.

“Whyalla's continued focus on evaluating the programs they have, where their gaps are and what else they can do to positively impact their community, embodies the ‘Y-Factor’. Their collaboration internally and with the local Council and others has allowed the Centre to maximise its impact,” he said.

“The key point of difference is being the real 'community hub' for Whyalla, which is a result of their focused and dedicated team work and passion for their local community.”

Whyalla Recreation Centre’s initiatives include:

  • Working with local schools and kindergartens to promote the Learn to Swim program
  • Partnering with the YMCA Community Strengthening team to grow the Leap Takers program at the Centre
  • Hosting quarterly ‘Family Fun Days’ (except during the COVID-19 period) to raise funds for community causes and support the local and regional community
  • Working with DECD to deliver swimming education to primary school and special needs students across the regional area
  • Successfully applied for a grant from the Office of Recreation and Sport for stadium equipment upgrades
  • Collaboration with City of Whyalla in Australia Day celebrations
  • Collaboration with City of Whyalla, Novita and Whyalla Special School for the purchase of a new disability lifter for WRC pools
  • Creation of an Events Committee for local fundraising efforts

Highlights of the 2021 awards included George Williams Employee of the Year award winners – Elysse Hirschausen (Fleurieu Aquatic Centre) and Michelle Haine (Children’s Services).

Other award recipients included: Stacey Hazelwood (Craigmore OSHC) – Emerging Leader of the Year, Claudia Barrietos (Fleurieu AC) – Engaging Future Minds, Carers Wrist Band Program (Fleurieu AC) – Excellence in Innovation, Laura Cannon (Unley OHSC) - Outstanding Contribution by a Young Employee, Petra Majchrak (The Parks) – Excellence in Operational Management, Youth Theatre (The Parks Theatre) – Program of the Year and Travis Beard (St Clair) – Community Partnerships.