Rod Simms. Photo: BRENDAN McCARTHY.

AN average of 1600 people per day are using the new Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre since doors opened in October – something that area manager Rod Simms said has exceeded expectations.

“There has been lots of excitement and support from the community,” he said.

“We’ve had strong comments about the warm water pool, the dedicated learn-to-swim pool, and the health club.

“And its been used a lot by the local community, around the pool’s location.”

The $32.4 million centre, the city’s biggest project and funded by all levels of government and the Kangaroo Flat Community Enterprise, features a 51.5m eight-lane swimming pool, zero depth splash park, gym, steam room, sauna, crèche, and employs 110 staff.

Mr Simms said opening close to school holidays and the recent hot weather, has seen the centre in full swing.

“With an increase in people having more leisure time around this time of year, people have had more time to spend at leisure centres,” he said.

“Our staff have (also) been a big part… they’re locals to Bendigo too, and they’ve really embraced it.”

For Mr Simms, it’s a wider approach to health and wellbeing which shows the asset of the facility.

“It’s great when people come once, but it’s important to get them to come numerous times a week, to see benefits,” he said.

“The statistics will show you that Bendigo, as well as the regions, has inactivity,” he said.

“We need to continue the fight against inactivity.”

During 2019, the centre is set to work with schools and user groups, as well as their partnership with Tristar Medical Group – something that’s a “key focus”.

“It’s about creating a brand that people recognise in the community,” Mr Simms said.