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Spending Billions on Empty Seats? Sport Surfaces


The Energy Challenge Pioneering the Great Australian Pool


Working Out in Water Global Recognition for Kristen Green


Spectators Behaving Badly New Summits for Climbing


PyeongChang Winter Olympics The Rebirth of Gumbuya World LPA’s Centenary



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Issue 125, 2018








COVER: Heatseeker DualSun hybrid solar PV thermal panel from Supreme Heating.

regulars 6 From the Publisher 10 Two Months in Leisure 58 People 68 Products www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news, products and events

18 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 54 62 64 66

4 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

A New State of Theme Parks Gumbuya World now rivals Australia’s best theme parks

New Summits for Sport Climbing The growth of the newest of Olympic sports

Spending billions on Empty Seats? When planning stadia, bigger doesn’t always mean better

Sports Surfaces built for Performance Installing key sporting infrastructure

Time of Asia What is behind Asia hosting the next three Olympics?

Embracing the Aquatic Energy Challenge Technologies to reduce spiralling energy costs

Pioneering the Great Australian Swimming Pool Crystal Pools has passed its diamond anniversary

Working Out in Water Ongoing growth in the popularity of aquatic fitness

Excellence in our Midst Kristen Green’s achievements are receiving global recognition

Spectators Behaving Badly What can clubs and officials do about poor sideline behaviour?

Record Numbers on the Te Araroa Trail The growing popularity of New Zealand’s national trail

LPA’s Centenary The peak body for live performance marks 100 years

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From the Publisher

Moving beyond Engagement

Published by Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd, 102 Taiyul Road, North Narrabeen, NSW 2101 (PO Box 478, Collaroy, NSW 2097) AUSTRALIA ABN 32 092 549 721

Tel: 02 9970 8322 Fax: 02 9970 8355 E-mail: leisure@ausleisure.com.au www.ausleisure.com.au Twitter: @AusLeisure Facebook: www.facebook.com/AusLeisure Editor Karen Sweaney Publisher Nigel Benton Design Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd Administration Bill Gillies

Advertising Inquiries Nigel Benton Tel: 02 9970 8322 Email: nigel@ausleisure.com.au James Croll Tel: 0488 090 904 Email: jcroll@ausleisure.com.au Printed in Australia by Pegasus Print Group Building B, 1A Bessemer Street, Blacktown, NSW 2148 Tel: 02 8822 0716, www.pegasusprintgroup.com.au The annual subscription cost is AUS $90 (inclusive of GST) in Australia, New Zealand and throughout the Rest of the World. Members of AALARA, ALFA, ASSA, EVANZ, Exercise Association of New Zealand, Sports and Play Industry Association and the VMA receive the magazine as a membership benefit. The views contained in Australasian Leisure Management are not necessarily those of Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd or the Editor. While every care is taken with advice given, Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd and the Editor can take no responsibility for effects arising therefrom. Views expressed by contributors may be personal and are not necessarily the views of their employers or professional associations.

© Australasian Leisure Management, 2018. ISSN 1446-1374

Official Publication

In Association with

Australasian Leisure Management is an Australian product, Australian owned and printed in Australia.

It is remarkable how in the space of less than a decade the word ‘engagement’ has become a catch-all for interaction with consumers and, across the leisure industry, a key way to describe interaction with patrons, members, users and fans. Quickly replacing traditional communications measures, engagement has come to be a measure of the effectiveness of businesses and organisations services marketing effectiveness, with ‘likes’, ‘shares’ and ‘comments’ on social media seen as being an indication of how people will relate to a brand and spend their money as if developing a relationship with the consumer was something new. As one social media agency’s Blog states “social media engagement is essentially like a long-term relationship. You can imagine a committed and lengthy relationship takes dedication, readiness to adapt, the ability to think about the future and ensure the other party involved is happy for years to come.” In reality, that may not be the case as the majority of leisure industry consumers will switch between brands and activities, facilities and venues without even thinking about their having been engaged in the past. So the measure of success should not be based on how generous people are with their likes but the choices they make in how they consume what the leisure industry has to offer when, during their free time, they leave their homes and are not shopping, eating or driving. Here the leisure industry has much to congratulate itself on, including: record attendance levels at entertainment venues, new highs in fitness club memberships, recovering levels of visitation at attractions, ever growing inbound tourism numbers and a range of exciting new opportunities to participate in.

Stadia: about time the architects got things right

Much has been written about the decision of the NSW Government to tear up its plan for stadium infrastructure in Sydney and to spend more than $2 billion to redevelop the city’s Allianz and ANZ Stadiums. However, in all the debate over the pros and cons of delivering ‘new generation’ stadia, there has been little comment over why venues that are less than 30 years old, in the case of Allianz Stadium and less for the ANZ Stadium - opened for the 2000 Olympics - need to be demolished and rebuilt. In announcing the rebuilding program, NSW Premier Berejiklian stated “our stadiums must have the most modern facilities that offer a great experience for fans.” Yet the thing fans most want in a stadium is to have a good view of the onfield action while being protected from the elements; to have easy access to toilets and F&B offerings; to be secure and to be able to get in and out of the venue with the minimum of fuss. Clearly, Sydney’s current venues are deficient in some of these criteria. The roof of Allianz Stadium has long been known for failing to protect fans from the weather while ANZ Stadium has often been criticised for lacking atmosphere and placing fans too far away from the game. While there would seem to be lessons to be learnt from these designs, mistakes continue to be made in new venues. These include newer venues described as soulless, for sitting fans too far away from the playing area and for failing to account for essential infrastructure and emerging technologies. Stadium technologies in the USA have seen many venues in key locations have a short lifespan but, without the same resources, Australia cannot afford for its major stadia to be rebuilt every few decades. So if these venues are to be rebuilt, can we ask the architects to learn from their past mistakes, not to make new ones, and to get Australia’s next generation of stadia right this time? Nigel Benton, Publisher

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Two Months in Leisure Some of the industry headlines over recent months. Daily industry news can be read at www.ausleisure.com.au

Northern Territory Government looks for investment in new waterpark

The Northern Territory Government has released an Expressions of Interest for interested parties to invest in a water theme park in Darwin. To be built on a Greenfield site close to the centre of Darwin, the NT Government is looking to attract investment of up to $50 million in the project. The NT Government advise “the Darwin Water Theme Park project represents a unique and exciting opportunity to design, construct, operate and maintain an international standard water theme park in Darwin.” The NT Government will shortly consider the detailed business case and decide whether to approach the market to facilitate private sector development of the project. For more information go to investnt.com.au/opportunities/darwin-water-park.shtml

SCG Trust launches state-of-the-art security centre

The Sydney Cricket and Sportsground Trust has developed a new security operations centre as part of a $3.5 million investment in safety and security at the SCG and Allianz Stadium. The state-of-the-art facility will be monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, making the precinct a leader in stadium security for major events. The system features video analytics and facial recognition, with 800 high definition and ultra-high definition CCTV cameras.

Genesis Fitness reaches 20 years of operations

Genesis Fitness has celebrated 20 years of operations since its flagship club, Genesis Ringwood in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, opened in 1997. Genesis Fitness has grown to operate over 40 clubs across Australia that help more than 60,000 members get fit and active. A recent Blog on the anniversary advised that “many foundation members who signed up at Genesis Ringwood two decades ago continue to work out together at the club and share friendships outside of the gym.”

Australia’s first Topgolf to open in June 2018

Australia’s first Topgolf attraction is to open on the Gold Coast in June 2018. Currently under development by Village Roadshow on a six hectare site adjacent to Warner Bros. Movie World, the $35 million joint venture development will include a mix of fun point-scoring golf games for all skill levels with family entertainment centre and food and beverage features. The new facility is Topgolf’s first joint venture outside of the United States and United Kingdom.

Club Lime introduces live club traffic statistics to assist member scheduling

In what is believed to be an industry-first, Canberra-based fitness and recreation group Club Lime has continued its innovative approach to fitness paired with technology, by providing members with live club traffic statistics to show how busy a club is at a particular time. The technology allows members to check the status of any of the Club Lime locations at any time (including on their mobile phone) and receive an indication on how busy the club is based on the previous 60 minutes of live member entries. Club Lime operates 16 locations throughout the ACT and one club in NSW.

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10 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

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IN BRIEF A new cage that reverses traditional viewing experiences in animal attractions has opened at Monarto Zoo near Adelaide, enabling visitors to walk right into the habitat of one of Australia’s largest lion prides. Sunshine Coast theme park Aussie World’s plans for expansion, that include five new major rides, have been approved by the Sunshine Coast Council. Skyline Queenstown has marked the 50th anniversary of its operations - looking back to 1967, when eight brightly-coloured gondola cabins began ascending the cableway to Bob’s Peak and the thenSkyline Chalet, 450 metres above Queenstown. The team at Belgravia Leisure’s Mount Albert Aquatic Centre has been recognised by the New Zealand Recreation Association with their presentation of the Outstanding Pool Award at the Association’s 2017 industry awards. Three new waterslides have been opened at Rockhampton’s 42nd Battalion Memorial Pool, replacing the complex’s former slides, with Swimplex Aquatics installing three state-of-the-art Polin Waterparks slides along with a new tower. The Greater Hume Shire Council has reopened its two swimming facilities - the Holbrook War Memorial Swimming Pool and the Henty War Memorial Swimming Pool - after a $3.58 million upgrade program. Facing rising costs and declining attendances, the Royal Launceston Show, which has been running for 144 years, has been axed. Perth Arena has recently passed five years of operations since its November 2012 opening during which time it has hosted more events than any other Australian arena - over 400, while welcoming 3.2 million patrons. The Victorian Government has announced that it is to back RMIT University’s plans to restore and reopen Melbourne’s Capitol Theatre. Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena has been ranked sixth on a global list of the world’s top performing venues and arenas over the past 15 years based on the number of concerts and ticket sales.

Sporting history made with opening of Perth’s Optus Stadium

Perth’s new Optus Stadium is being acknowledged as one of the world’s most flexible stadiums. The $1.6 billion, 60,000 seat venue collaboratively designed by architecture firms Hassell, Cox and HKS - can accommodate athletics, cricket, football, Australian rules football, rugby league and union, and huge concerts and shows. Located east of Perth’s city centre, the ground is the focal point of a new public Sports Precinct, designed by Hassell, that stretches to the banks of the Swan River. Landscape design around the surrounding precinct includes a range of recreation facilities, connected by walking and cycle trails, include an amphitheatre, children’s playgrounds, picnic areas, restaurants, bars, a boardwalk and a community sports oval that will be available for public use on non-game days. The precinct, the stadium, the river and a purpose-built bus and train station are connected by a covered community arbour.

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 11

Fitness and Lifestyle Group acquires Go Health Clubs

AJ Hackett bungy attraction boosts adventure visits on Singapore’s Sentosa Island

The recent opening of AJ Hackett Sentosa has added another attraction on Singapore’s Sentosa Island. The development at Silosa Beach on the south side of the island, includes a 47-metre bungy jump, two giant swings, a vertical skywalk and a skybridge vertigo experience, as well as a restaurant and bar in a purpose-built tower. Developing bungy and adventure tourism projects around the world as part of a multimillion dollar international expansion, AJ Hackett International founder and Chief Executive AJ Hackett recently commented “this project has been one of the more challenging sites we have built but the end result is something very special.” 2017 marked the 30th anniversary since Hackett introduced the world to commercial bungy jumping by sensationally leaping off the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1987.

Following its dramatic entry into the fitness industry last year with its rapid acquisition of Goodlife Health Club, Fitness First Australia and Jetts Fitness, the Fitness and Lifestyle Group has now acquired Queensland-based club operator Go Health Clubs. Go Health Clubs, which operates six clubs in metropolitan Brisbane, has more than 25,000 members with its clubs operating 24/7 and with distinct fitness zones, including Mixed Martial Arts and Yoga Box locations, in its clubs. In a related marketing move, the Fitness and Lifestyle Group has adopted real-time analytics and enhanced its business intelligence.

Perfect Gym Solutions announces $6.9 million investment

Leading software company Perfect Gym Solutions have announced a $6.9 million investment from some of the largest technology investors in Europe: 3TS Capital Partners, Innovation Nest and Trigon TFI. With their head office in the Polish capital of Warsaw and a recently opened subsidiary in Melbourne, this latest investment round will be used to intensify growth on international markets, including Australia, the Middle East and Asia as well as for further product development. The fast growing company is currently transforming the fitness market, facilitating both enhanced customer service and improved management of facilities.

Belgravia Foundation set for industry launch

Created with the aim to increase access to aquatics, fitness, recreation and sport opportunities for all Australians, the Belgravia Foundation is to be launched. Established by Belgravia Group Executive Chairman Geoff Lord to boost health and wellbeing outcomes among Australia’s marginalised communities, the Belgravia Foundation will raise money to fund programs and services to help communities in need. After a lengthy and highly successful career, Lord is committed to creating activity opportunities for all Australians, advising “people who face financial hardship, distress, inequity or other barriers will be able to get help through the Foundation.” The Belgravia Foundation is a registered public benevolent institution ‘charity’ with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC). For more information go to www.belgraviafoundation.com.au

12 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Security bollards erected to protect Luna Park Melbourne

Landmark locations on the foreshore of the Melbourne beachside suburb of St Kilda, including Luna Park Melbourne and the Palais Theatre, are now being protected by concrete security bollards. Installed before Christmas by the City of Port Phillip to enhance security in the wake of terror-related vehicle incidents in the Melbourne CBD, the temporary grey concrete bollards protect entrance and surrounding areas at the popular Melbourne landmarks.

Fitness Australia-led joint venture acquires FILEX convention

In an historic move for the fitness industry, a Fitness Australialed joint venture has acquired Australia’s premier fitness education event - FILEX - from the Australian Fitness Network. Explaining the move, which sees Australia’s peak fitness industry association take control of the industry’s major convention, Fitness Australia Chief Executive Bill Moore commented “having Fitness Australia lead the FILEX Convention as of 2018 represents a major milestone for the Association and our members, and clearly describes our future direction. “With our members’ best interest at heart, we can’t wait to continue leading and supporting this dynamic industry of ours by delivering this key annual event and taking it to the next level.” The purchase is being undertaken by FILEX Holdings, a joint venture made up of Fitness Australia and four other parties who have invested equally to give the peak national body equity in the premier Australian fitness education event. FILEX 2018 is being held from 20th to 22nd April at the International Convention Centre Sydney. For more information visit filex.com.au

Fitness First Middle East to open women-only gyms in Saudi Arabia

Fitness First Middle East has announced that it will launch womens-only gyms in Saudi Arabia, complementing its existing portfolio of men’s clubs. With Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Sports having announced that it will begin issuing licences for women’s gyms, the new clubs will offer classes, including BodyPump, Zumba and RPM and exclusive group training 6D, which is based on six dimensions of fitness: move, lift, core, burn, function and recover. In line with new regulations issued by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Sports, the operator will be recruiting internationally qualified female personal trainers.

OneMusic Australia looks to implement new licence scheme for fitness providers

Kardinia Park to be known as GMHBA Stadium under new naming rights deal

The Geelong Cats have announced private health insurance and care company GMHBA as their new stadium namingrights sponsor. The Cats’s home ground at Kardinia Park, known as Simonds Stadium since 2011, will now be known as GMHBA Stadium, after GMHBA signed a 10-year naming rights agreement with the club. Plans have also been announced for the fifth and final stage of the venue’s redevelopment, which will cost $100 million to complete – the most expensive upgrade during the entire project.

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news 14 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Newly established music licensing body OneMusic Australia is to implement a new scheme that takes into account the way in which the fitness industry has diversified since the current licensing schemes were negotiated in 2011, along with changes in how users consume music. Formed by the merger of APRA AMCOS and PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd) the two bodies that previously issued licences for the public performance of music - OneMusic Australia intends to replace the current two-licence system with a single joint licence as of late 2018. Given the bitter legal battle that erupted when PPCA sought to raise licensing payments in 2008, OneMusic Australia has stressed that the new licences “will be developed in consultation with relevant parties, including industry associations and licensees as appropriate” and says that they will be “attractive and reflect fair and equitable fees in all instances.” The new body has engaged in extensive consultations with stakeholders, including Fitness Australia, releasing a pair of consultation papers.

Rising cost fears lead to review of Christchurch Metro sports facility plans

Rooty Hill RSL to build largest performing arts centre in western Sydney

The New Zealand Government has ordered an urgent review of plans for Christchurch’s new Metro Sports facility amid concern that the project’s $217 million budget could blow out to more than $300 million. Planned to replace facilities demolished after the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the venue was to be the largest aquatic and indoor recreation venue of its kind in New Zealand, with a 50 metre, 10-lane competition swimming pool and a separate diving pool, large aquatic leisure area, five hydroslides (waterslides), fitness spaces and nine indoor sports courts.

The Rooty Hill RSL, the largest licensed club in NSW, has commenced construction of the $100 million Western Sydney Performing Arts Centre which, when completed in late 2019, will have a 2000-seat proscenium arch theatre with the capacity to host world-famous stage shows, musicals and concerts, as well as accommodate full ballet companies and symphony orchestras.

Australia’s state theatre companies condemn sexual harassment

In a move away from discounted theme park season passes, Village Roadshow Theme Parks have announced a new ticketing strategy that replaces annual passes costing as little as $9 a month. Introducing the Village Roadshow One Pass to replace its former VIP Pass, the new ticketing initiative will continue to give access to Village’s Gold Coast flagship theme parks Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast and Paradise Country, but at a higher cost. Passes will cost $199 - or $139 for local residents - for 12 months of unlimited entry to the attractions. Introduced by both Village Roadshow and Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis of 2009, the low cost annual passes, costing less than $100, were considerably less than the single park annual pass previously available.

In the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in the global entertainment industry, the Confederation of Australian State Theatres (CAST) has released a joint statement from its members condemning sexual harassment and abuse. The members of CAST are: Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Circus Oz, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, State Theatre Company South Australia and Sydney Theatre Company.


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Village Roadshow moves away from low cost theme park passes with the One Pass

Choice names Viagogo among Australia’s shonkiest products of 2017

Consumer advocacy group Choice has named ticket resale website Viagogo as a ‘winner’ in its 2017 Shonky Awards. “Naming and shaming this year’s shonkiest companies and products” in the 12th edition of its Shonky Awards, Viagogo joins a Coles branded catfood, and major brands Samsung, Westpac, Honda, Toyota, Lexus, BMW and Mazda for conduct ranging from misleading consumers, deceptively confusing claims and/or selling unsafe products. Viagogo’s Award is for “dodgy practices that tick off consumers”, with Choice referring to hundreds of reports from concertgoers who are “ticked off after dealing with Swiss ticketing company Viagogo”.

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news

Sports Commission’s Our Sporting Future Conference to combine with National Sports Convention in 2018

The organisers of the National Sports Convention have announced that the Australian Sports Commission is to integrate its Our Sporting Future Conference with the National Sports Convention in 2018. The collaborative move aims to build upon the success of the National Sports Convention, which in 2017 was supported by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), Sport New Zealand, and 15 other peak bodies. Held on the Gold Coast in November last year, the Sports Commission’s biennial Our Sporting Future Conference will now feature as part of the National Sports Convention. As a result of the link, organisers are anticipating record delegate numbers for the Convention, being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from 16th to 18th July 2018. Relocation of the event to MCEC will see the event accommodate additional conferences, events and collaborators including the Leisure Industry Communication and Marketing Summit and Awards.

Arts and sports industries the fastest growing jobs sector in Western Australia

Latest figures from the 2016 Census indicate a 25% increase in people employed in Western Australia’s performing arts and sports sectors - making the sectors the State’s fastest growing industry. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have reported that one of the stand-out trends was the increase of 25% in the number of people who recorded that they were employed in the arts and recreational services industry - including fitness centres, sport and performing arts.

Louvre Abu Dhabi opens to the public

Having recently been officially opened by French President Emmanuel Macron and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is now opened to the public. The landmark building is the result of a 2007 intergovernmental agreement between the United Arab Emirates and France that will see the ‘Louvre’ brand loaned over a period of 30 years and six months. The deal also loans artworks from 13 French institutions to the Louvre Abu Dhabi for a decade, and temporary exhibitions for 15 years.

YMCA promotes elite women coaches at SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre

The YMCA-managed South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre YMCA is advancing gender equality at the highest level of swim coaching by joining a leading swim club to appoint an allfemale high performance coaching team. The coaching program at the Marion Swimming Club, based at the South Australia Aquatic and Leisure Centre, is now led by Shelley Jarratt (pictured left), who replaced Peter Bishop when he moved to concentrate on preparing swimmers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Jarratt’s back-up team includes age-group and state coach Sally Hunter, development coach Melissa Cragg, assistant skills coach Tiffany Teh and junior coaches Shannon McSkimming and Bozera Kowalska.

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 17

A new state of theme parks

Gumbuya World’s new waterpark (above), and (below) other new attractions.

James Croll looks at the opening of Gumbuya World and how shrewd investment in research and development has resulted in a theme park ready to rival the best in the southern hemisphere


t is often reported in Melbourne’s media that the city ‘needs’ a major theme park – seemingly in the belief that investors or the Victorian Government are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an attraction for a city that for much of the year is focused on sport. Those calling for such a development also seem to overlook the considerable investments made by the owners of Funfields in Whittlesea and Adventure Park in Geelong in recent years and, most recently in Gumbuya World in Pakenham. Reopened on 18th December 2017, the first phase of a highly ambitious re-imagining of the former Gumbuya Park has delivered four highly anticipated zones: Oasis Springs water park; Wildlife Trail; Oz Adventure and Outback Explorer. Acquired in September 2016, Gumbuya World is the vision of a group of Victorian entrepreneurs consisting of Gerry Ryan,

18 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Wal Pisciotta, Adam Campbell, Brett Murray, Ray and Ron Weinzierl to reimagine a place that they enjoyed with their families when they were younger and to leave a legacy for future generations. Having engaged the services of Pico Play, one of Australasia’s foremost specialists in Theme Park design, the December opening saw phase one realised of what is essentially a three phase project with two further phases planned throughout 2018 and beyond. Gumbuya, derived from one of the Aboriginal terms for ‘meeting place’, was originally a pheasant farm for the food industry which was built in 1978 as a family theme park. Standing on 174 hectares an hour’s drive south east from Melbourne, the park featured a toboggan slide, mini cars, paddle boats, water slides and a collection of native wildlife and

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 19

Waterslides and animal attractions at Gumbuya World.

over the years developed a reputation as a fun, inexpensive family day out. Pico Play Creative Director Mark Eady explains “when we were engaged by the new owners, our research showed that Victorian families were extremely fond of Gumbuya. “Although run down, it was a fun, popular and inexpensive place for families to get together and enjoy a day out. While the owners wanted us to develop a modern theme park to international standards, we felt as a design team that the history, legacy and beautiful natural setting should remain a strong part of Gumbuya World.” Pico Play were engaged by the Gumbuya owners due to their strong reputation for creating innovative themed attractions. Renowned for bringing experiences to life, the international team at Pico Play have worked on design projects involving such renowned attractions as Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore Zoo, Disney Hong Kong and Disney Shanghai. Current projects in Australia include Manly Surf n Slide and Urban Extreme Indoor Park in Brisbane. Eady advises “our office on the Gold Coast is a complete concept, design and planning facility offering clients bespoke themed attractions and immersive environments (and) we also have the resources to build thematic attractions. “The new owners of Gumbuya saw us as the ideal ‘fit’ for their vision. “They were not theme park people and they needed to engage industry experts to help realise their vision. “This saw us undertake the complete master planning, concept design, construction drawings, art direction and theming works for Gumbuya.” The company were engaged in January 2017 and over the course of the next few months looked at the condition and appeal of the existing attractions. Eady adds “we looked at everything from the guest perspective of the history, what would be retained, what new attractions would appeal, the impact this would have on the 20 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

design intent and how it could all be realized and the park brought into modern times. “When Pico presented their report to the shareholders in May 2017, we proposed a $25 to $30 million redevelopment which included the decommissioning of many of the older attractions, the creation of multiple themed zones that would feature a water park, family rides, active play, new wildlife encounters, a live show venue, animal conservation programs and an indigenous cultural centre across a 26 hectare area.” Construction work started shortly after. Apart from a few minor issues such as compliance and environmental challenges with the Victoria Winter, the development and planned opening of the ‘new’ Gumbuya remained on track and within an ambitious six month timeframe. The reaction since the 18th December opening has been unprecedented. On arrival guests have been reminded of the park’s legacy and heritage by a giant golden pheasant statue crowning the entrance to the park. As they enter a plaza they are then greeted by aesthetically designed enclosures containing pheasants. From here, they then have a choice of four zones. Oasis Springs is Australia’s newest waterpark with thrill rides supplied by WhiteWater West including the Taipan, as well as a relaxing Lazy River and heated Rock Pools. The Wildlife Trail meanwhile cleverly combines close encounters with Koalas, Dingoes and other creatures with over 50 species of Australian fauna. Oz Adventure provides some fun thrill rides for youth such as the Mining Race Coaster and the chance to buckle up as they are launched into the air on Rush Hour. Younger children meanwhile can enjoy the Outback Explorers theme park which features rides such as the Berry Twirl and the Outback Pirate Ship. Just as impressive as the redevelopment however has been the impact Gumbuya World promises to have on growth in Melbourne’s South-East. The park is being strongly supported

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Gumbuya World’s staff team (above), and its other new attractions.

by the Cardinia Shire Council and Victorian Government and, by positioning itself as the leading tourist attraction in the area, it aims to have a dramatic impact on attracting visitors to the South-East from Victoria, Australia and around the World. Gumbuya World Chief Executive David Thompson explains how the attraction will also drive a significant rise in employment in the area, commenting “the owner’s vision which Pico included in their planning was for the concept of Gumbuya World to be underpinned by a desire to offer employment to residents in the South-East. “The area has been seriously affected by the decline in the automotive industry. Since our opening in December however we are delighted to say that Gumbuya World now employs approximately 150 staff. “The target however is to be employing 500 employees within five years. It’s fair to say that the ownership group behind Gumbuya World are making a significant financial contribution to the region’s economy with an investment of $50 million. Furthermore we’re investing in state-of-the-art equipment, training and safety to provide an amazing guest experience.” Welcoming the opening of Gumbuya World’s phase one, Victoria Tourism Industry Council acting Chief Executive Chris Porter commented “the new and refreshed Gumbuya World has the potential to become one of Victoria’s biggest tourism attractions. “The significant investment made into this revitalisation

22 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

project will reap many important benefits for Victoria’s tourism industry. “This is (also) great news for local jobs and the many surrounding tourism and hospitality businesses especially over the summer months.” Explaining the significance of the attraction, Porter added “the completion of Stage One of Gumbuya World is an important milestone for Victoria’s theme parks. “Along with Funfields and Adventure Park, travellers to Victoria will now be able to enjoy a memorable high-quality theme park experience no matter which part of the State they visit. “This level of flexibility and depth in Victoria’s offering to visitors will help us gain a competitive edge over other states and generate positive economic benefits for the tourism industry.” Phase one however is only the beginning of Pico’s interpretation of the owner’s vision. Phase two of the park is planned to open in mid-2018 and will include an Indigenous cultural centre, Walking with Dinosaurs exhibit, a 400-seat auditorium and a host of new rides and attractions. Crucially it will add further new revenue streams from the corporate sector as state of the art conference facilities will also be launched. These will coincide with attractions such as a retail village, chocolate factory and a microbrewery. Arguably, the most exciting phase of all however is Pico’s plans for phase three, which will see the opening of a unique Eco Bush Resort. Eady adds “our original scope to the owners was to not only deliver a park built to international standards but one that would be backed up by a solid business plan, have a significant impact on the growth in Melbourne’s South-East whilst retaining the wonderful legacy of Gumbuya that the owners themselves and families throughout Victoria hold so dear.” James Croll looks after Client Relationships at Australasian Leisure Management.

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Entre - Prises Climbing Wall

New summits for sport climbing Sarah Brady charts the growth of the newest of Olympic sports


limbing is a natural human movement. Deeply connected with nature, climbing did not develop originally as a sport but as a tool to reach the summits all around the planet. It is only recently, since the mid-20th century, that climbing became a sport in its own right. This concept was developed by a few climbing legends such as Patrick Edlinger, Catherine D’Estivelle and Lynn Hill who started to put together body movement, strength, flexibility and problem solving to push the limits of their bodies and form a new sport. Competition climbing started in Russia in the late 1940s on artificial structures while also developing in the outdoor environment. Indoor competition became more popular in the 1980s with the forming of the international body, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) in 1988 and major international competitions have been held since then.

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24 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Due to the high impact on the environment, outdoor competition disappeared in the early 1990s leading to the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) separating from the UIAA in 2007 with the goal of Olympic inclusion. The sport is now developed in 140 countries, with 25 million climbers. 81 national federations are now affiliated with the IFSC and there are 18 major international competitions each year. With 40% of the world’s climbers under 20 years of age this is a rapidly growing, youth oriented sport. In 2016 the sport was added as an Olympic sport from 2020. The format for Tokyo 2020 is a combined event with the winner decided based on a combined ranking from the results of the three disciplines. Selection to the 2020 Olympic team is via the 2019 World Championships or 2020 Continental Championships (Oceania for Australia).

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Disciplines Competition climbing now features three major disciplines: Bouldering, Lead and Speed. These disciplines challenge the entire spectrum of skills required for climbing but each of them focuses on a different mix of those skills. Bouldering This activity is on a 4-metre wall with no ropes. If a climber falls, they fall directly onto mats. It requires power and technique for an explosive performance of a maximum of 10 movements. It is extremely spectacular and presents intense moves. Lead Athletes climb tied in with ropes on 15 to 20 metre overhanging walls using a combination of technique, endurance and strategy. The one who climbs the highest within the 8-minute time limit wins. Speed Two climbers climb on identical parallel walls that are 15 meters high. The fastest climber to the top wins. The world record is 5.6 seconds for men and 7.53 seconds for women. Sport Climbing Australia (SCA) was incorporated as an association in 2004 and became recognised as the national sporting organisation for the sport of climbing in February 2016. Since then, SCA has moved to a federated governance model with seven member states formed over the past three years. During this period SCA has developed policies regarding antidoping, competition formats, judging, belaying, route setting, selection and ranking. In conjunction with the state bodies, SCA has been bringing all state and national level events in line with these policies. Following the growth of sport climbing in Europe and North America, the sport is now gaining similar popularity and momentum in Australia and is expected to see further growth into the future. In the past two years there have been record numbers of competitors at national lead and boulder events. In

2016 Australia hosted the Oceania Titles with its highest ever attendance with over 230 athletes from Oceania participating. SCA has been working with the Oceania Council for Sport Climbing to promote and grow the sport within Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. At this point in Australia, the indoor climbing community is based around commercial climbing centres. Some of these facilities have been very supportive of the sport and the competition scene but they are all operating within commercial constraints. Climbing is an extremely complex sport that challenges all parts of the human body and mind. The number of body movements that climbers come across in their climbing career is infinite and there would usually be no chance to find the same movements in two different routes. SCA is passionate to see that climbing is accessible to girls and boys and men and women at all levels of ability: every age, any background, mental and physical disabilities and elite athletes. Climbing offers multiple types of challenges that can give feelings of achievement to all. It also has a strong culture of supportive social interaction. The climbing community, its values, strength and culture are unique in the sporting world. Australia has a strong culture of outdoor climbing. The newer indoor scene first developed as private commercial ventures. The sport is getting to a turning point where the interest in climbing is accelerating and the indoor scene is growing to meet this new demand. SCA believes that this trend will develop and grow in the years to come and climbing will become one of Australia’s major recreational sports. Sport Climbing Australia is a young, healthy organisation, founded on modern sport principles and values, cultivating them along with sport growth and development. Despite an extremely limited budget the top Australian athletes have achieved incredible performances in the last few years and with less than three years to the Tokyo Olympics, climbers are massively incentivised to stretch themselves to qualify for the Australian team. In 2017, Australian youth and adult climbers had their best ever overall results in international events with multiple Australian athletes qualifying for the semi-finals. One athlete, Ned Middlehurst, has already qualified to attend the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018, becoming Australia’s first Olympic sport climber and acting as a pointer to 2020 Olympic qualification. Domestically the calendar includes state and national events. National events are selection events for the Australian team who attend international events such as World Cups and World Championships. The nationals are well attended and attract large livestreaming audiences. Over the last two years the live streams have reached all around the world. The most recent National Youth Championships had up to 80,000 viewers on social media. State events are run by the state organisations who are sanctioned members of SCA. These are selection events for

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the Australian National Championships. State bodies currently exist in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. With the extremely fast growth of the sport as well as the recent move into a federated governance model, the commercial opportunities in the sport are substantial. It’s not often the opportunity to align with a young, healthy and exciting sport with a brilliantly clean image comes along, let alone an Olympic sport currently experiencing considerable and continual growth that is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Through its recently announced partnership with PSE, SCA is seeking long-term partners to work with the sport in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics and beyond with a range of commercial opportunities - in the form of brand, team, development, facility and event alignment - available. Sarah Brady is Head of Commercial for PSE. PSE is Sport Climbing Australia’s commercial and marketing partner.

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 27

Spending billions on empty seats? With ongoing industry and public debate about the value of the NSW Government’s plans to rebuild Sydney’s Allianz and ANZ Stadiums, Chris Beattie of sport and entertainment consultancy Gemba suggests that when it comes to stadia, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.


he NSW Government decision to invest approximately $2 billion in the bulldozing of Allianz Stadium and ANZ Stadium has come with significant public criticism. At last count, a public petition launched by former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons against the decision had over 135,000 signatures. Now I’m not here to argue the merits of building stadiums over investment in community facilities, schools and hospitals. That’s a fool’s game. It’s an unwinnable argument. What I will say is that major venues like ANZ Stadium and Allianz Stadium play an important role in our society. Like art galleries, museums and other cultural infrastructure, they Plans for the new Allianz Stadium (left) and ANZ Stadium (right).

28 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

enhance the liveability of NSW and generate considerable economic and social benefits. In Australia, it’s largely the role of governments to fund stadium development, amongst many other competing priorities. Despite what some in the media are stating, the Sydney venues in question aren’t in great condition. Their ageing design and build are not meeting current needs or contemporary expectations of a Sydney that wants to be a world-class sport and major event city. Granted, ANZ Stadium was only opened in 1999, however, it was purpose built for the Sydney Olympics; its oval configuration was retrofitted in an attempt to meet needs post the Olympics.

Sydney’s ANZ Stadium (left) and Perth’s new Optus Stadium (right).

Allianz Stadium, opened in 1988, is now old and tired. It was once Sydney’s (and Australia’s) premier venue for rectangular sports. Those who have visited recently understand that it is a far cry from that now. Like everything else in modern society, the lifespan of a major venue is getting shorter, with the need for major refurbishment and redevelopment materialising quicker than ever before. Interstate and international competition for major events is increasing, and combined with recent developments in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, the need for the NSW Government to act becomes clear. Regardless of whether it’s major refurbishment of the existing venues or complete new builds, significant investment is required. In Australia we appear to have an infatuation with maximising capacity. Governments (and some sports organisations) want big stadiums with massive capacity to cater for one-off or irregular major events. “It needs to be 60,000”, they say. Really? Perth Stadium will be a world-class venue when

it opens. That is undisputed. However, at 60,000 capacity, they’ve overshot the mark. AFL is ‘the biggest game in town’ in Western Australia. But the average crowd at the 43,500 capacity Subiaco Oval over the past five years is approximately 35,400. The new stadium will no doubt generate renewed interest and the average crowd will likely increase (as has occurred with AFL at Adelaide Oval), however, I can’t see that 60,000 is justified. When planning a new venue or redeveloping an existing one, determining optimal capacity is critical. Why not ‘right size’ venues based on need? Why not build a venue with a capacity that is closer to the regular average attendance and have it full more often, rather than a venue that is half empty (or less), most of the time? Seats cost money. By right-sizing stadiums, governments would reduce the upfront capital costs, plus ongoing operational and maintenance expense, therefore lessening the burden on venue operators. This will benefit end users; the teams,

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Sydney’s Allianz Stadium, set to be demolished 30 years after completion.

members, supporters etc. through reduced pressure on hire fees, ticket prices, cost of food and beverage etc. It’s also going to help the taxpayer. It’s not just economics. Optimising venue capacity will also create more intimate environments for fans, lead to enhanced atmosphere both live in venue and broadcast, as well as improve the overall match day-experience. Once redeveloped, ANZ Stadium will be the premier rectangular stadium in Australia. At a capacity of 75,000 (presently 83,500), and with all the bells and whistles intended, it will eclipse all other rectangular venues in the country. But is 75,000 really justified? Aside from State of Origin and the NRL Grand Final, the existing venue rarely sells out. A 60,000 capacity venue makes much more sense, or 65,000 at most, from an economic and a need perspective. The venue is cheaper to build and maintain, and would barely lose any of its appeal for events globally or domestically. Based on a rough ‘cost per seat’ calculation, a 75,000 capacity ANZ Stadium at $1.25 billion, equates to $16,667 per seat. Let’s say the proposed venue capacity was reduced to 60,000. Using the ‘cost per seat’ methodology, that would be an upfront capital saving of approximately $250 million, before even considering the ongoing operational and maintenance savings. Now let’s look at Allianz Stadium, with a current capacity of 45,500. In the most recent seasons of A-League, NRL and Super Rugby, including finals, average crowds were approximately 17,900, 15,700 and 14,500 respectively across 37 events. Only three of these events attracted more than 40,000 fans; the A-League Grand Final, a Sydney FC v Wanderers Derby and the Roosters v Dragons ANZAC Day NRL match. The two most recent Wallabies’ games at Allianz Stadium attracted crowds of 30,721 (versus Scotland in June 2017) and 44,063 (versus England in June 2016). The most recent Socceroos game, versus UAE in June this year, attracted a crowd of 27,328. So, of the nearly 40 sporting events above, only four demanded a venue capacity of 40,000 plus. So why is a new 45,000 seat venue proposed for Moore Park? Why not 35,000, or even 30,000, given that the venue will be less than half full most of the time? Again, based on the ‘cost per seat’ methodology, a venue of 35,000 capacity could save the Government in the vicinity of $150 million that maybe could be invested elsewhere. I understand that some people will make an argument for the proposed capacity numbers … like “What if we host the World Cup? What about Adele? Coldplay pull a massive crowd.” Sure, but these rare events are not an excuse for over-investing in essentially temporary infrastructure. With finite resources and competing government and community priorities, the case for building and maintaining stadium seats that will rarely have a bum sitting on them is questionable at best. Let’s right size our venues and strike the right balance between capacity and economics. Chris Beattie is Division Manager Venues & Facilities for sport and entertainment consultancy Gemba. Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 31

The Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre, Newcastle

Sports Surfaces built for Performance Tania Fountain explains how Polytan innovates in the installation of key sporting infrastructure


he competitive sports facilities market has seen considerable innovation over recent years with new technologies and significant levels of investment by governments, local councils and sporting associations. With almost 30 years of industry experience, Polytan aim to not only provide high quality synthetic surfaces but also to see them enjoyed and utilised by everyone - from grassroots through to elite athletes, and players of all abilities. As a clear leader of the synthetic sports industry, Polytan has a strong global footprint that promotes knowledge sharing, vertical integrated manufacturing, sustainability and a desire to empower athletes to reach their full potential. With involvement in the design, construction and installation of premium sporting facilities from regional centres to elite level facilities, Polytan with the support of parent company SportGroup, aim to advance the development and activation of a wide range of sporting facilities around the globe.

32 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Polytan last year completed the upgrading of the formerly dilapidated Newcastle Athletics Field in the heart of the Hunter Valley city. For many years the Committee of Newcastle Athletic Field Management Inc had chased the required funding for the works and considered how the resulting track could offer something special to the community. The key consideration was maintaining the track as the home training base for three-time gold medal Paralympics champion Kurt Fearnley and training partner, Paralympics athlete Christie Dawes, under the supervision of National Coach Andrew Dawes. Now reopened, the renamed Fearnley Dawes Athletic Centre becomes the only athletics venue with a dedicated wheelchair lane in the southern hemisphere. Following the completion of the track, Polytan took up a Gold Level Sponsorship arrangement that will provide funding over the next two years for additional infrastructure and equipment to support the development of the facility and use by the local community. At the Queensland University of Technology’s Kelvin Grove campus (below right), Polytan installed a FIFA accredited football field and sprint track facility on the roof of a multi-storey car park accommodating 800 cars. Other projects have included a large multi-sport facility for the Chatswood High School on Sydney’s North Shore; numerous AFL fields across Victoria; the Moore Park Golf Driving Range adjacent to Sydney’s Centennial Park; a rugby field at Sydney’s Moore Park; and an AFL and cricket oval that doubles in providing two football fields at Blackman Park, NSW (left).















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NSW Concept to Creation – Sports Field Symposium

Rugby and athletics installations at Christchurch’s massive new Nga Puna Wai facility

We are nearing completion of the upgrade of three synthetic football fields at the Darebin International Sports Centre (DISC) in Victoia; the first dedicated artificial rugby league field for Blacktown City Council in NSW; resurfacing works to both warm up and competition athletics tracks at the Queensland Sport and Athletic Centre in Brisbane (QSAC) and a range of tennis, hockey, rugby and athletics installations at the massive new Nga Puna Wai facility as part of post 2011 earthquake regeneration in Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition, for elite competition Polytan provided the hockey surfaces for the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Olympics, completed the hockey fields for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and will install the hockey surfaces for the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup in London and the 2018

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Men’s Hockey World Cup in India. Polytan also support a range of athlete ambassadors and sporting organisations. Most recently, Polytan partnered with two new elite athletes: Rugby 7s Olympian and Rio 2016 Gold Medallist, Emma Tonegato, and Melbourne Demons AFL Women’s player, Laura Duryea. In addition, Polytan has locked in a global partnership with Jamie Dwyer Hockey (JDH). A unique opportunity to showcase the best of the best of hockey surfaces, and equipment. An additional 10 elite hockey athletes from around the world will join the Polytan and JDH team, and together participate at a range of events over the coming three years. Polytan is also proudly a Gold Sponsor of the National Sports Convention, following several years of support and presentations at this rapidly growing national event. Polytan’s commitment to supporting industry awareness, research and product development also sees open the doors to our manufacturing facility and laboratory to prospective clients wishing to learn about how synthetic surfaces are made, standards they should expect from various components and how to ensure they are getting a quality product. We have also presented a series of Concept to Creation – Sports Field Symposiums around the country. Created to support and educate sports facility managers, local and state government, sporting associations and clubs, these free events enable attendees to share information and learn from our experience in creating premium sporting facilities that are durable, innovative and unique. Each Symposium sees successful concepts openly discussed and balanced, with optional inclusions to maximise longevity to help managers get the most out of a synthetic sporting facility. Additional topics include facility design trends, approximate project costs, surfacing systems, maintenance, performance infill, venue development and planning for the future. Tania Fountain heads Sales and Marketing for Polytan Asia Pacific. For more information on upcoming ‘Concept to Creation – Sports Field Symposiums’ she can be contacted on 1800 663 812, E: enquiry@polytan.com.au

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Time of Asia

The snowboard run built for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Nigel Benton charts how South Korea’s staging of the 2018 Winter Olympics is a further example of sport’s importance among Asia’s major economies


he opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang marks a significant shift for the Olympic movement with it and the two subsequent Olympics and Paralympics PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 - all being staged in Asia. Marking a new chapter in Olympic history, the shift of the Olympics to Asia is not only convenient for Australian broadcast viewers but marks a shift in the Olympic axis at a time when governments in North America and Europe, as well as Brazil after massive overspending on the 2016 Rio Olympics, question the cost of staging the Games and the value of postOlympic infrastructure. The reason for the consecutive staging of the Games are both political and economic, something recognised by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. In 2016, at a meeting of representatives from PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, Bach stated “some scholars have said we’re living in the century of Asia, and in Olympic terms, I can confirm that this is the time of Asia. “Here on this continent, for the first time in history, you will host three consecutive Olympic Games. “These three Olympic Games in Asia are a unique opportunity for Asia and also for the Olympic Movement ... to show its unity.” As part of the ‘PyeongChang Declaration’ the Governments of South Korea, Japan and China vowed to work together to ensure each of their Games are a success while also being 36 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

used as a “base for peaceful co-existence in north-east Asia”. While such statements can be seen as being highly aspirational, the weeks leading up to the PyeongChang Games have indeed seen a thawing of relations between the two Koreas with their frequently fractious political relations being replaced by their athletes marching in the opening ceremony under a joint flag and combined teams competing in the men’s and women’s ice hockey. Politics and the Economy Yet more than this, the staging of the Olympics has been a key step in nations’ international development. With the modern Olympics first staged in 1896, the Games only came to Asia in 1960 when Japan, emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, presented itself as a modern and friendly industrial power. With the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea showed off not only its economic strength but also its transition to a parliamentary democracy while Beijing’s extravagant Olympics of 2008 sealed China’s status as an economic superpower. The Beijing Games also saw the Chinese Government demonstrate its status to its domestic audience. As David Wallechinsky, Olympic historian and co-founder of the International Society of Olympic Historians, explains “at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Beijing wanted to be able to say to their people, ‘we got 55 world leaders to come and sit in the stadium, we brought you the most gold medals, trust us in everything.’ ”

In terms of the statue of the Olympics, Victor Cha, Director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University in the USA and Senior Adviser and Korea Chair at the Centre for Strategic & International Studies explains “the Olympics are a benchmark of development in Asia (while) in the West, they are becoming a post-modern phenomenon, almost like ‘revival games’ providing an opportunity to reinvigorate great cities.” While original plans as submitted in the bid documents by PyeongChang and Tokyo have had to be scaled back because of rising costs, Asia’s Olympic hosting has not been subject to the same constraints as those of Paris, France and Los Angeles in the USA, hosts of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics. The only candidate cities left after other cities ended their hosting aspirations, the bids from both cities emphasised lowcost and low-environmental-impact Games making substantial use of Olympic infrastructure. Another attraction for the IOC in the location of the next three Olympics comes with the enticing new opportunities that Asia’s large population and increasingly sophisticated technology provides. As Christopher Finlay, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Loyola Marymount University in the USA advises “(for the IOC), audience is their currency. Approximately half of their revenue comes from sponsorship deals, and the rest from broadcasting rights - and both are dependent on eyeballs. “The IOC’s recent connection with Alibaba (the e-commerce and technology conglomerate) in China (shows) that they’re looking for strategic partnerships in Asia to build their global brand.” In conjunction with the advantages of technology and audience engagement, the IOC’s push toward Asia is a result of dwindling interest in Europe, North America and other parts of the world that traditionally generated a large following for the Games. Finlay adds “I think the Olympics are struggling a bit (with) an ageing audience in North America and Western Europe, and an uptick in interest in Asia that came out of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in particular.” For PyeongChang, infrastructure for the 2018 Games is expected to underpin further growth in its winter sports tourism industry while China is aiming for massive growth of winter sports with plans to build hundreds of new ski resorts and ice hockey rinks by 2022, although some of its principal Games zones will rely on artificial snow. An impressive array of Olympic facilities have been constructed for PyeongChang, which lies in the snowy mountains of the Gangwon province east of Seoul. This has been backed by significant transport infrastructure with highspeed trains capable of ferrying an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 individuals to venues each day during the Olympics. According to Games Organising Committee foreign press spokesperson Nancy Park “it’s a very special region because it’s a mountainous region and yet we have all the different conditions ready to host the games and also because that region has very close proximity to the ocean where we have all our other venues.” Technology and Security Technology in use in PyeongChang also include a range of innovations, including a wide-scale virtual reality broadcast from Intel, high-tech uniforms and enhanced security features from an army of drones and X-ray vehicles. In what is the largest-scale virtual reality event to date and the first live virtual reality broadcast of the Olympic Winter Games, Intel are rotating roughly more than 20 x 180-degree cameras that it built in-house while broadcast partners will provide highdynamic-range Olympic coverage. Technology giant Intel has partnered with KT Corporation, a South Korean communications service provider, to develop the world’s largest 5G showcase.

Separately, Alibaba announced that it has become the official cloud services and e-commerce platform services provider for the IOC, offering digital capabilities in a partnership through to 2028. Alibaba, a founding partner of the Olympic Channel, said its cloud infrastructure will help Olympics management operate more efficiently and securely. Alibaba will also provide services to support the Olympic Committee’s big data analytics requirements. With PyeongChang located just 80 kilometres south of the demilitarised zone separating North and South Korea, Games’ anti-Terrorism and Safety Headquarters will leverage a number of high-tech solutions to keep a tight lid on security in and around the Olympic venues. Drones are being used to inspect activity on the ground with HD and thermal imaging cameras. In areas deemed the most likely to be targeted, drones with radar networks will watch the skies for unidentified unmanned aerial vehicles, then alert security forces who will then move in to counter a potential attack. All of the areas near the Olympic venues have been deemed as no-fly zones. If unauthorized drones enter the airspace, interceptor drones will be deployed to capture rogue drones with nets. Another aircraft, a tactical airplane that is set to make its international debut at the Olympics, will monitor activities on the ground from an elevation of roughly 150 metre. The plane is equipped with high-resolution intelligent CCTV capabilities, which will complement the roughly 900 CCTV cameras with tracking capabilities on the ground. Together, they’ll provide security offices an all-encompassing perspective of visitor activities in and around the venues and detect for suspicious movements. On the ground, the team will use a vehicle capable of detecting and identifying 400 different hazardous substances to monitor chemical warfare agents within a five kilometre radius of the venues. Three X-ray search vehicles will be used to search incoming vehicles for stowaways, guns and other dangerous objects, while satellite and other aerial images will detect potential hiding spots of snipers. In terms of access, Visa is introducing payment-connected winter gloves and two other wearables that will enable cashless payments at the Games. The company will offer Olympics attendees smart gloves that contain a dual interface chip with an antenna that will enable contactless payments throughout the venue, where Visa has installed more than 1,000 NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals. It will also offer four different commemorative Olympic lapel pins that enable payments and an array of thin, flexible adhesive micro tags that are embedded with NFC chips and antennas and can be attached to a variety of items. The PyeongChang winter Olympics run from 9th to 25th February, with the Paralympics to follow from 9th to 18th March. Nigel Benton is Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management. Visa has introduced payment-connected winter gloves for the PyeongChang Games.

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 37















Sunbather pool cover

Embracing the Aquatic Facility Energy Challenge James Croll investigates some of the new innovative solutions that suppliers in the aquatics industry are introducing to counter spiralling energy costs.


he past 12 months have seen operators across the leisure industry addressing the issue of increasing energy costs. Above all other sectors, it is in aquatics facilities where the most worrying challenges have arisen. However, one positive to come out of all this has been an unparalleled development in initiatives and new products to the industry to address the issue. As a result, 2018 will see the launch of some of the most innovative products the aquatics industry has seen in recent years with facilities not only able to embrace new forms of heating and heat retention but also benefit from water treatments and indeed the water itself. A significant number of the new initiatives focus on innovative developments in solar heating, the method of heating water which is becoming more and more popular as the energy crisis bites. As Tom Boadle, General Manager of Sunbather explains “right now we are seeing the biggest enquiry rate on solar pool heating in the commercial sector since the product was first launched back in the 70s. “Commercial swimming pool centres are looking to make solar pool heating their primary source of water heating, and then back it up with a gas or electric solution. 40 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

“For over 40 years this has been the cheapest form of heating a pool, and it still remains the same today, as solar is the only free heat source available on the planet and will continue to be so for a long time. “You can guarantee one thing now, and that is that energy prices will continue to rise, and so will the costs of fossil fuel heaters. Solar heating ensures that energy bills remain as low as they possibly can and pool centres remain profitable and viable.” One of the most exciting of the new solar products is the ground-breaking Heatseeker DualSun hybrid solar PV thermal panel. Distributed in Australasia by Supreme Heating, the European manufactured panel has been cleverly designed to utilise the excess heat from photovoltaic panels to provide electricity and thermal heating for commercial swimming pool venues. In essence, the panel simultaneously produces photovoltaic electricity for the building and heated water for the pool. Two recent case studies at facilities in Sète and Perpignan on France’s Mediterranean coast show the impact the revolutionary design could have on Australasia’s commercial pool sector. Peter Alderton, Business Development Manager for Supreme Heating explains “the case studies in the South of France saw DualSun tasked with optimising productivity across a total volume of pools of 2500 metre³. “This saw the need to install 360 DualSun hybrid panels resulting in 100kWp over 568.8 metre², which in turn optimised productivity to 600kWh/m²/year at an internal rate of return (IRR) of 7.2%. “The panels are designed for swimming pools and preheating hot water applications, which optimises production. “The dimensions are of a standard photovoltaic panel (60 156mm cells) including a 45mm frame. The key, however, is the high-efficiency monocrystalline cells, which are cooled by water circulation on the underside of the panel. The patented ultra-thin heat exchanger is completely integrated into the panel. “This results in a highly efficient transfer of heat between the photovoltaic surface and the water circulation on the underside. Traditional photovoltaic panels generate much more heat than electricity. The cooling effect on the DualSun panel allows the photovoltaic electrical generation to be maintained, and increases peak performance by up to 20%. A DualSun installation generating heated water and solar electricity produces up to four times more energy than standard photovoltaic installation.” Results and projections are indeed impressive, as proven by the two case studies in the South of France. In these instances, the DualSun panels have already reduced the primary energy consumption of the public buildings by 33% which sees the projected savings over the next 5 years exceeding close to A$800,000. EvoHeat meanwhile, who specialise in heat pump technology are dedicated to continuous product development to ensure they offer market leading energy efficient products. EvoHeat Hot Water General Manager Tim Martin advises “a significant proportion of total energy demand, and carbon footprint for that matter, can be attributed to hot water heating. “With rising energy costs and an increased emphasis being placed on corporate environmental responsibility, it makes sense to upgrade to more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions to provide your business with fast reliable hot water.” This ethos has seen EvoHeat introduce the Evo270 which they view as the next evolution in water heating. With advanced energy efficiency technologies and built in smart features Evo270 promises to ensure clean, safe, and economical hot water all year round whilst saving up to 75% on traditional water heating costs.


SOLAR ELECTRICITY + POOL HEATING ONE FOOTPRINT, TWO SOLUTIONS. A HYBRID PANEL THAT SIMULTANEOUSLY PRODUCES ELECTRICITY AND HEATING FOR SWIMMING POOLS. The electricity generated by the high efficiency monocrystalline cells can cover all the electricity needs of the swimming pool. Any surplus electricity can be self-consumed in the commercial swimming pool facility, or returned to the grid for a feed-in tariff or net-metering program. The patented ultra-thin heat exchanger is completely integrated into the panel. As the pool water flows through the heat exchanger, the water is heated whilst simultaneously cooling the panel. This results in a highly efficient transfer of heat between the photovoltaic (PV) surface and the water circulation on the underside. Traditional PV panels generate much more heat than electricity. The cooling effect on the DualSun panel allows the PV electrical generation to be maintained, and increases peak performance by up to 20%. A DualSun installation generating heated water and solar electricity produces up to four times more energy than a standard PV installation.

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Martin adds “unlike traditional water heaters that use 1kW of energy to produce 1kW of heat, the Evo270 utilises that very same 1kW of energy and heat pump technology to generate 4kW of heat – saving up to 75% of your hot water costs. Furthermore, it is a registered and accredited energy efficient product. Government incentives are applicable to every Evo270 installation, making it even more affordable to upgrade your hot water plant and save thousands of dollars each year. There are low capital and installation costs and the typical return on investment is under two years.” Innovation in pool covers meanwhile has reached fascinating heights, typified by Sunbather’s unique Commercial Downunder pool cover range whose cover system won the 2017 Gold award at the National SPASA awards in Sydney. Tom Boadle sees that Governments and pool centres want to save water and energy so pool covers are now mandatory on pools heated by gas or electricity, and will typically cut energy bills by 2 thirds. “Pool Owners know the benefits of pool covers but they don’t want to look at them, so our design team at Sunbather developed the Commercial Downunder range to provide a solution enabling centres to hide their pool covers underground and remove a lot of the OHS concerns.” The Sunbather Downunder hides the cover roller mechanism in a cavity at one end of the pool which is then covered by a lid. The lid closes flush with the pool deck when the cover is fully retracted and also when it’s fully extended out over the pool. Boadle adds “the whole system is operated mechanically with the Sunbather SuperSlave to make it as safe as possible for operators. It saves water and energy which ensures that it pays for itself within two years. An ROI of less than two years is something everyone should be considering as no other energy saving device comes close to that.” One of the most extraordinary developments in recent months has been in pool filtration, specifically, the OC-1 filtration media product. (see opposite)

42 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Theralux, who have specialised in water purification for over 100 years, not only see pool filtration as the key to energy saving but mineral sanitation as well. Theralux Marketing Director Eddie Lloyd states “at Theralux Advanced Mineral Pool Systems, we believe the time of heavily salted or chlorinated pools is over. “Converting your pool, be it residential or commercial, to a mineral pool results in a far healthier, safer, more cost effective and environmentally friendly swimming environment.” Scientific studies of swimming pool water back up Lloyd’s claims. They have recorded the beneficial effects certain mineral compositions have on the human body. One composition in particular, magnesium chloride, has been proven to provide a number of substantial health and wellbeing benefits to the bather. Lloyd also points out that converting to a mineral pool not only has a massive impact on running costs but has a huge benefit in positioning and marketing. He sees that “the reduction of sodium usage helps reduce urban salinity. A mineral pool’s mild flocking capabilities also help filter out extremely fine material such as dust and dirt, providing crystal clear waters. A mineral pool feels pleasant, there’s little to no taste and the water moisturises your skin as you swim. The mineral waters are wonderful for children while they also provide relief for skin conditions as well as relief for injuries and muscular complaints. “Promoting your facility as a mineral pool, filled with health and wellbeing benefits, will undoubtedly have a major impact on your business. “A global health and wellness movement is upon us and operators of commercial aquatic facilities who are early adopters of mineral water will likely strengthen their position to stay relevant to the consumer.” James Croll looks after Partner Relationships at Australasian Leisure Management. Contributors to this feature were Supreme Heating, Evo Heat, Sunbather, Astral Pool and Theralux.

OC-1’s revolution in pool filtration The ground-breaking OC-1 filter media and how it reduces energy consumption and increases efficiency


elanie is a nine-year old caiman from Ecuador who resides at the Crocodiles of the World Conservation and Education Centre in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. She is also an enthusiastic advocate of the ground-breaking OC-1 filter media that has been making headlines in the UK and that now promises to shake up the aquatics sector throughout Australasia. For the past few months Melanie has been enjoying the clean waters of her enclosure following the upgrading of the filtration system from sand and gravel to OC-1. Crocodiles of the World Assistant Manager Jamie Gilks explains “before OC-1 we had to backwash up to twice a week. Now we only have to do it once a month and even then it hardly needs it. We have saved so much water (and) are very impressed, to the extent that we are ultimately looking to replace all our filters with OC-1.” However, OC-1 is not just having an impact in wildlife reserves. In Dartmouth in the south west of England, recent estimates on the cost savings that OC-1 has had on the new indoor pool there have come in at a saving 1.73kW per day, resulting in savings of over $5,000 a year. Pool suppliers, Astral Pool introduced OC-1 into Australasia early 2017, with the product already having an impact on energy consumption and efficiency. The absolute key is that OC-1 embraces the development of pump technology and maximises the benefit of variable speed pumps working through settlement rather than the traditional

method of entrapment. The device itself is an open cell media (a small plastic device) that replaces conventional sand and glass filter media. Its design enables it to maintain a constant flow rate thus reducing energy consumption. This constant flow rate of course means that pumps can be run at far lower speeds thus saving energy. OC-1 also has a huge capacity to store debris; its innovative design however means that the flow rate does not slow down once a small amount of dirt is caught. This not only has an impact on the efficiency of the filtration system but results in far healthier water. Astral Pool’s Commercial Business Development Manager Granville Harris explains “the water savings are unparalleled. “Results have shown that water consumption is reduced by up to 40%. The debris retention also has a phenomenal impact on back washing as OC-1 has the capacity to collect 20 times the debris collected by traditional sand or glass media. We have cases where OC-1 has meant that pools only need to be backwashed once every three months.” The ongoing benefits are also impressive. The efficiency of OC-1 also means less maintenance as it reduces pressure on the system. This also means that the life of the equipment is extended. It also lasts longer than sand. Overall, payback is usually between 12 to 18 months. Astral Pool have introduced two new filter ranges to work in tandem with OC-1. The commercial version can even be supplied complete with OC-1 media preloaded allowing for quicker installation which avoids having to load sand or glass on site. For more information on OC-1 contact Granville Harris at Astral Pool on 0499 299 094, E: gharris@astralpool.com.au

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 43

Crystal Pools built the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre - venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Pioneering the great

Australian swimming pool Leading commercial and domestic swimming pool builder Crystal Pools has just passed its diamond anniversary.


n six decades so many others have come and gone, yet Crystal Pools remains as Australia’s longest operating swimming pool construction company. Passing 60 years of operations, Australia’s most experienced pool builder has built over 20,000 residential and 1,000 commercial pools, winning over 220 major state, national and international awards. Unique in spanning both domestic and commercial markets, from plunge pools to aquatic centres, Crystal Pools is typically the successful tenderer on commercial aquatic infrastructure projects of any size: from holiday resort operators right through to local, state and federal government contracts. From the largest commercial aquatic centres to construction projects conducted in the remotest parts of regional Australia, the company is able to offer an enviable record of technical expertise. Certified for government projects and experienced at working with developers, Crystal Pools offer a total design and build service for corporates and smaller businesses alike. Explaining what this heritage of expertise brings, Crystal Pools Commercial Manager Paul Hicken advises “our level of experience breeds natural efficiency and economy, and is reflected in the bottom line of every project we do. “From the beginning we give our clients access to case studies and references from construction companies, schools, property developers and councils who’ve relied on our experience to deliver them real results. Results and performance on your investment are everything. “Many domestic pool builder competitors often throw themselves in the deep-end in an attempt to build commercial 44 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

pools, and the process is usually chaotic. Whereas Crystal Pools is nationally recognised as the ‘go to’ company for some of the largest and most prestigious projects in the country from exclusive holiday resorts to Olympic-sized pools.” Over the decades the quality of their work has seen them develop their commercial installations, from early projects including Fairfield District Hospital, Deakin Olympic Centre and the Macquarie Olympic Centre in the ACT and the Manly Olympic Centre. Although most of Crystal Pools’ work in their very early days was building domestic swimming pools, this began to change when the company started winning contracts for commercial projects in the late 1950s. Crystal Pools made a big splash on the commercial scene when it was awarded the contract to develop the second stage of the Parramatta War Memorial Swimming Pool in 1959. While the first stage had included a 50 metre pool and a diving board, the second stage (constructed by Crystal Pools) incorporated another two recreational swimming pools as well as children’s wading pool, complete with a water fountain in the centre of it. Testament to its exceptional work, Crystal Pools was invited to completely refurbish the facility in 2008. When undertaking the work, they found that the stage one pool (that they had not been involved in) had to be demolished and re-built, whereas the pools built by Crystal Pools in 1959 required only cosmetic refurbishment. More recent projects include the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre - venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games; the Alice Springs Aquatic and Leisure Centre; the SCG Trust members pools

Crystal Pools have built pools for Virgin Active Health Clubs.

and installations for Virgin Active Health Clubs. Applying the same exacting engineering standards on their residential pools as they do for FINA standard Olympic Pools, Crystal Pools have also created pools for many Sydney landmark properties like Admiralty House at Kirribilli, which boasts undoubtedly one of the best views in Sydney and is still in regular use today. Others include Wally ‘Toyota’ Truscott’s harbourside mansion, as well as pools for celebrities including Dame Joan Sutherland and Graham Kennedy. As pioneers of the Australian swimming pool industry, Crystal Pools has delivered many innovations: from construction techniques to supporting pool technologies, like the earliest sand filters. The company has experimented with prefabrication but remains convinced conventional concrete construction is still the preferred method for new aquatic centres around the globe and in Australia. Hicken adds “as one of Australia’s leading authorities in the design, specification and construction

of commercial pools we have no aversion to adopting new technologies. “Naturally we would be the first to adopt and recommend prefabrication to clients if we believed it offered an advancement in pool construction methodology, or conversely, delivered radically cheaper pricing to compensate for what is, in our opinion, an inferior end product with a much shorter service life. “Since our beginnings in 1957, we’ve never stopped believing in ‘quality over quantity’ by limiting the number of pools we build annually. Amazingly, despite not trying to grow too big, we’ve still managed to build over 20,000 pools. “Importantly we are also a financially solid Australian owned company where the directors running the business work within the business.” For more information contact Crystal Pools on 02 9875 4555, E: sales@crystalpools.com.au, www.crystalpools.com.au

Some of Crystal Pool’s recent commercial projects

•The Gold Coast’s 2018 Commonwealth Games Aquatic Centre • NSW Rugby League Club, Sydney Olympic Park • Andrew Boy Charlton Centre, Manly • Ballina & Alstonville Aquatic Centres • Skye, Crown International , North Sydney • Canberra Southern Cross Club, Canberra • Pymble Ladies College • Hornsby Aquatic Centre • Griffith University Queensland • Darling Square NE Plot, Haymarket

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Working out in water One of the most exciting industry trends of 2017 is set to make even bigger waves this year. Karen Sweaney explains


n eternal challenge for managers of aquatic facilities is the generation of revenue. Traditionally, the operation of commercial pools has had to be subsidised, with learn-to-swim one of the few profit centres. However, swimming lessons operate to precise times and dates in the calendar - through school terms and before and after school hours – leaving managers with a lot of timetable to fill. Swimming carnivals (in appropriate facilities); swim coaching, clubs and laps swimmers along with recreational

Hydrorider Aquabikes, Speedo Fitness Club Bondi Beach

48 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

use are obviously significant but the rise of aquatic fitness and demand among exercisers has the potential to fill the timetable and increase revenue. Aqua aerobics (water aerobics or aqua classes) has been around for decades – a millennia if you include water therapy for both religious and medicinal reasons as used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but the wider potential of aquatic exercise, with its non-impact, high-resistance, total body exercise regime, has only truly been recognised in the past decade. Beneficial to a multitude of participants because the density of water allows people of all ages to incorporate aerobics and muscle-strengthening into their weekly exercise schedule, the adoption of equipment based aquatic exercise in Australasia has been pioneered by Russell Fine of Aquabuzz. Charting how the market has developed, Fine states “aquatic fitness challenges exercisers in a different way to on the ground with less stress on the back, hips, knees, ankles and the upper body. “Aqua fitness has evolved into bringing the gym to the water, allowing exercisers of all ages to gain a full body workout upper and lower. “Our Hydrorider system comes with a comprehensive training fitness program that works on every aspect of your body, allowing strengthening and toning of the muscles, in a kinder way opposed to the damage a ground based workout might do.” Fine explains how the technology was born out of hydrotherapy with the ease of mobility being beneficial for

those in rehabilitation or suffering from sport Injuries and conditions such as arthritis and obesity. Among innovators in aquatic fitness, Julie Stevens, Director of Adelaide-based State Swim saw an increasing number of men and women taking to the water for their fitness regimes either as an addition to their already established fitness routine or as the core component of Aqua Yoga at Casey RACE ‘getting active and fitter’. State Swim launched their ‘Pool is the New Gym’ program at four established indoor swimming schools in Adelaide last year. The business invested $50,000 in its aquatic fitness equipment last year and, after 12 months, the Return on Investment sits at 140%. Stevens explains “we delivered eight-week blocks at each swim school (pre-paid) and then rotated the equipment from site to site, giving all of the swim schools a taste of each program. “2018 will determine if the programs are a ‘fad’ as suggested by some but what we know already is that the risk proved to be worth taking. We have seen a new clientele visit our swim schools, boosting our learn-to-swim program and many of the other programs that we offer. “The benefits go well beyond the financial of course. We are playing a part in encouraging a healthier community and offering an exercise option for those who don’t enjoy going to the gym, going for a run or riding a bike.” In October last year, YMCA Victoria, in partnership with the City of Casey, launched Australia’s first Aqua Cycle programs at Casey ARC (Aquatic and Recreation Centre). The innovative aquatic group fitness programs are designed to offer members access to new and industry-leading health and fitness options that have been successfully tested and developed at YMCA facilities around the world. YMCA Victoria Health and Fitness Manager Troy Walker said the introduction of customer-focused innovation was the result of extensive consultation and research across the YMCA’s international network, after successful programs were recently established by USA YMCAs in Cincinnati, Wichita and Huntsville. Walker said being part of a world-wide health and fitness organisation provided the organisation with unique access to pioneering programming, explaining “the YMCA is an industry leader in aquatics and recreation so we are able to research innovation first-hand and then implement those initiatives proven successful with real evidence.

“These programs are something new and we are excited to launch them in Australia. “We believe in the benefits of physical activity and building community connections. We’re proud to be helping Victorians lead healthier and happier lives by bringing global trends to our local communities.” Following the initial Aqua Cycle classes at Casey ARC Aqua Yoga programming was introduced at Casey RACE (Recreation and Aquatic Centre) in November. The YMCA and City of Casey have co-invested in the equipment (the Hydrorider Aquabike from Aquabuzz and Boga Fitmats), and staff training in the new aquatic programs. Walker said the initial launch was an exciting step towards establishing the new aquatic exercise options as a staple in the Casey centres, before extending the innovation across more of the YMCA’s 34 managed recreation and leisure centres in the state. The Milne Bay Aquatic and Fitness Centre was an earlier adopter of Boga Fitmats, introducing Australia’s first classes using the boards in September. Karen Haydock, Community Development and Facilities Marketing and Retention Officer for Toowoomba Regional Council explains “we launched the new (Boga Fitmat) fitness classes in September and have had a massive reach and engagement on social media. “Our first lesson saw all local TV stations and our newspaper reporter turn up (while) the Toowoomba Councillor for community development and tourism even took to a mat and outlasted the instructors.” The introduction of the Boga Fitmat has given the Centre “a new engagement with our community” according to Haydock, who adds “men and women of all ages and fitness levels are giving the mats a go. “People are laughing, falling in and working out with friends and beating the summer heat at the same time. “By no means is it an easy workout with the added element of stability but the fun factor and new challenge comes into play

Hydrorider / Aqua Cycle program at Casey ARC, VIC

Boga Fitmat class, Milne Bay, QLD

50 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Boga Fitmat class, Milne Bay, QLD




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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 51

Boga Fitmat class, Milne Bay, Queensland.

and people are excited about the classes. “These classes combine the best aspects of core movements from gymnastics, yoga and boot camp style workouts. The Boga Fitmat works as a floating platform and is great for strengthening your core and improving your balance. “The mats offer a number of unique workouts on water by utilising both traditional group fitness and yoga based exercises like burpees, push ups, sit ups, downward dog and warrior, but with the added difficulty of a unbalanced surface.” In 2003, when Aquabuzz started their water gym program, Fine was confident of future growth, among the ageing population and increasing demand for active lifestyles among older exercisers. He explains “you never have to talk an older person into getting on to a Hydrorider.” However, he also knew that the younger Australian generation would be a challenge at the time, but still saw massive potential in “appealing to a wider and younger fitness market that will be long lasting users of the equipment.” In the last five years, and especially in 2017, Fine has seen significant growth among the younger generation getting on the Hydrorider Aquabikes and loving the activity, stating “they love the challenge and often are surprised of the hard work the program offers.” This growth has seen Aquabikes installed at facilities including the Speedo Fitness Club at Bondi Beach, the Karratha Leisureplex in Western Australia, the Maitland Aquatic Centre in NSW, the South Burnett Aquatic Centre as well as for the YMCA Victoria.

Aquaphysical board fitness class

52 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Chris Skinner, Managing Director of HF Industries, distributors of the Boga Fitmat, sees the benefits to both users and facilities in the product. He explains “exercising on the Boga Fitmat requires core stability and activates more muscles than exercising on dry land.” In terms of value, Skinner sees that the high visibility of the Boga Fitmat, with its activities taking place above the water, can have significant marketing benefits for facilities. Skinner, who, in his three decades as an equipment supplier, has introduced a range of fitness innovations to Australia, advises “in the way Pilates has grown from a specialised market to a regular feature in gyms and facilities, aquatic fitness has the same potential. “Like spinning, it is highly visible and it the way that viewing a spinning class can encourage participation, viewing a Boga Fitmat class has the same effect. “For pools to make money, programs needs to be driven, and for a tiny outlay compared to conventional fitness equipment, Boga Fitmats are an investment that can generate attention and impact.” As with any product in contact with swimming pool water, quality is very important. Pools such as Aquarena in Doncaster, Victoria and Mingara One on the NSW Central Coast had the Hydrorider since 2009, proving its durability. As for the future and whether aquatic fitness will stand the test of time, Julie Stevens sees that “the early signs in 2018 suggest that it will … this year we will introduce a second set of bikes, multiple sets of Aquastrength equipment, as well as Gymstick H2O. We continue to see the growth of our original aqua fitness programs, as now we have a class for everyone. “Our instructors are enjoying the opportunity to teach a variety of classes, are immersed in so many professional development opportunities, knowing that their time and investment will be worth their while with so many more employment opportunities on offer.” Fine also sees opportunities for sportspeople such as ‘land bike’ clubs and swimmers to benefit from training, adding “a wide range of elite and community sportspeople can benefit from the way aquatic exercise’s low resistance can activate core muscles, glutes and legs.” Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management

Kristen Green at Aquafit.

Excellence in our Midst

The achievements of Kristen Green of Aquafit have received considerable recognition in recent months


t is sometimes said that ‘overnight success’ is the product of many years of hard work, and that would seem to be the case with the remarkable international recognition that Kristen Green, Executive General Manager of Campbeltown, NSW-based aquatic, fitness and recreation facility Aquafit has received over recent months. Green, who is also Board member with Fitness Australia and the recently formed Women in Fitness Association, has been named as the 2018 recipient of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s Woman Leader Award. The Award, presented by IHRSA, celebrates the legacy of Julie Main by exemplifying what she stood for: courage, perseverance, excellence, and professionalism. Green, who will receive the Award at the IHRSA Convention in March, is the first Australian to receive it. 54 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Speaking after being advised of the receipt of the Award, Green stated “I am very honoured and grateful to be the recipient of IHRSA’s 2018 Woman Leader Award in honour of Julie Main. “It is a privilege to also be the first Australian woman to receive this recognition.” IHRSA presents three awards at its annual Convention, the Associate Member of the Year Award, which has been won by Myzone; the Outstanding Community Service Award, which has been won by the Sisters Athletic Club of Sisters in Oregon, USA and the Woman Leader Award. Green has also been the focus of a feature in international fitness journal Club Solutions, in an article that focuses on her role in leading Aquafit since its opening in 2004 and how the success of the facility can be credited to the culture she has created among its management and staff team. Since opening 14 years ago, the club has been named Fitness Centre of the Year five times by Fitness Australia, in addition to being a four-time Gold Recipient for the Australian Health & Fitness Industry Quality Awards. Green explains “I believe that culture is a critical driver of business success. “With a positive and inclusive workplace culture, anything is possible, and a great culture starts with leadership and a clearly communicated vision and mission.” The award winning facility has, Green advises, a “friendly atmosphere welcoming to all”, where “people of all ages, shapes and sizes (can) feel comfortable in the knowledge they can come to Aquafit, work toward their personal goals and not feel intimidated or out of place.” Part of the Campbelltown Catholic Club, the $17 million Aquafit was created as a part of the group’s revenue diversification strategy based on members’ indication of a need for an aquatic and fitness facility to be built on site. Recognised as the premier health, fitness and wellbeing facility in the Macarthur area of Western Sydney, Aquafit offers two heated indoor pools, three group fitness studios, a Precor Queenax functional training zone, Technogym strength and cardio equipment, a café, retail space and outdoor training facility. Hired just three months prior to the opening of the 3,995 metre² facility, Green has taken Aquafit from an incomplete facility to a fully operational business. Green recalls “I had the incredible opportunity to literally build a new fitness business, and be entrusted the responsibility of building a team culture which leveraged the values of community, respect, compassion and understanding. “In the beginning, in order to bring a team with me on the journey, I had to create a leadership vision and purpose for the business, so the new team would not only share and believe in who we were, but what our larger role was within our local community.” One of the keys to Aquafit’s early success was the preopening membership drive Green and her team conducted.







Get equipment@lesmills.com.au OR Call 02 6282 8192

Green with members of the Aquafit team.

As Club Solutions explain, in a span of three months, they sold 2,100 memberships from an architect’s renderings, a floor plan of the new centre, and a promise the club would meet member expectations. Green recalled “this was instrumental in achieving profitability milestones within six months of (opening).” According to Michael Lavorato, Chief Executive of the Campbelltown Catholic Club, Green’s leadership in getting Aquafit off the ground was instrumental in its early success. He advises “Aquafit was an outstanding success from its opening in 2004 ... in the first full year, Aquafit recorded a profit of $1,009,235 … largely due to Kristen’s savvy business skills and ability to lead and inspire a new team.” Green’s leadership has sustained that success over the past 14 years, with Lavorato adding “Kristen is responsible for the success of Aquafit - arguably Australia’s most awarded health club - building a highly trusted and respected brand in the community, providing remarkable leadership, innovative strategic vision and a commitment to customer service excellence that truly set Aquafit apart from the competition.” In creating Aquafit’s culture, Green advises “we have intentionally tried to create a non-intimidating exercise space for our members, with a hotel-like, five-star facility feel and a focus on high-quality service with innovative programs and services.” This goal is supported by a philosophy that ‘first impressions count’, both from a physical and customer service perspective. According to Green, Aquafit aims to achieve a professional and understated feel through the use of subtle colours, careful and consistent use of branding imagery, background music and reception uniforms that draw inspiration from five-star hotels. She advises “our reception team is paramount to creating a welcoming experience for new and existing members. “We look for our reception team to have empathy, and understand how it would feel for someone who has never set foot in a fitness centre to walk through our front doors.” To ensure these staff standards are met, Aquafit’s recruitment Recognition of Aquafit’s input to Technogym’s ‘Let’s Move for a Better World’ challenge.

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process takes a ‘culture-first’ approach. Green explains “when hiring, we look for a culture fit for our teams ... looking for a professional presentation, a cando attitude and great customer service ethos. We need our team to be approachable to members, engage in meaningful conversation and provide assistance. We continually manage and positively reinforce these expectations.” New team members are also put through a rigorous induction process, which includes instilling the importance of Aquafit’s company culture and core values. Green states “if we’ve got the hiring process right, by hiring for attitude then training for skill, the training and onboarding is less of a challenge. “By this stage, we should have a new team member who understands and practices the customer service skills we require.” Employee retention also plays an important factor in Aquafit’s strong company culture. To retain staff as long as possible, the club offers staff continual training, mentoring, job security and the opportunity for a career pathway. “In return, we receive greater buy-in to our company culture and more control over the levels of customer service we provide,” said Green. It is these strategies and efforts that have contributed to Aquafit’s many awards and recognition. That, and the facility’s communityoriented fundraising initiatives spearheaded by Green. Lavorato states “Kristen has been the driver that has ensured Aquafit’s respected and highly regarded position within the local Macarthur Community. “She has done so by passionately supporting numerous local charities, initiating innovative fundraising events and providing energetic and passionate leadership to ensure success from these efforts. The majority of these events are held on weekends and out-of-work hours, and Kristen leads from the front to motivate and engage her team to participate in these events with Aquafit members.” One example is the 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer event, a local overnight fundraising initiative. Over the past 12 years, Aquafit has raised over $120,000 for the charity, with 100% of the proceeds going toward much needed services and equipment to assist in the treatment, care and comfort of children and adults dealing with cancer. Green adds “it’s a great family and community event that brings the community together through a common desire to help those who need it most. “It is an opportunity for our members to engage in the community and make a real difference every year.” In addition, Aquafit finished first place in Australia in 2015 and 2017 in Technogym’s ‘Let’s Move for a Better World’ challenge. Throughout a 21-day period, Aquafit opened its doors to the local community free of charge to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. On both occasions, as the national winner, Aquafit was able to donate $65,000 worth of exercise equipment to local schools.

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Moving forward, Green hopes to continue to build the club’s fundraising legacy and further establish Aquafit as a cornerstone of the community. To do so, she will lead from the front, like she has since the club’s inception in 2004. Green comments “one of my favourite quotes is, ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I strive to be an authentic, inclusive leader and a positive role model for those I work with, leading by example and acting with integrity.” To achieve this goal, Green knows that continuing to establish and cultivate Aquafit’s culture will be paramount. She concludes “what is clear is that as a leader, you can’t do it alone. You need to grow and develop a team of great people around you.” With thanks to Rachel Zabonick and Club Solutions.

Kristen Green’s IHRSA Award citation

Kristen Green faced the personal adversity of losing her mother to ALS at a very young age. Despite having little financial and family support, Kristen was determined to be the best version of herself. She pursued her passion for the health and fitness industry, and today is a successful club operator and inspiring leader who serves as a positive role model for her team, her community, and aspiring leaders in the industry. Green “I am truly humbled and honoured to be the 2018 recipient of IHRSA’s Woman Leader Award in honour of Julie Main, and especially privileged to be the first Australian woman to receive this recognition. It is my hope that through my own story, I can inspire, empower and motivate other women on their own journey to achieve their professional goals.”

People News Former Olympic swimmer Nicole Livingstone named AFL’s new Head of Women’s Football

Three-time Olympian Nicole Livingstone has been appointed the AFL’s new Head of Women’s Football, running the AFL Womens code as it expands towards a 14-team competition in 2020. Livingstone has the responsibility for growing and managing the AFL Women’s competition and female participation in the code. Since retiring from her decorated swimming career in 1996, Livingstone has gone on to be a success as a commentator, presenter and sports administrator.

Fitness Australia’s latest inductees to the Fitness Industry Roll of Honour

Fitness industry innovators Jacinta McDonell, Justin McDonell (pictured) and Richard Piel have been inducted into the Fitness Industry Roll of Honour for bringing Anytime Fitness 24/7 business model to Australia. The Fitness Industry Roll of Honour gives national recognition to people who are described as ‘game-changers’ - those who have made an enduring contribution to make the fitness industry what it is today. The trio launched Anytime Fitness in Australia in 2008, bringing the successful franchise from the USA and introducing the 24/7 unsupervised fitness centre business model to the country. 58 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Perfect Gym Solutions welcome new customer success team member

Leading software provider Perfect Gym Solutions has announced the appointment of new team member Steve Paton (left, with Matt Inglis, Perfect Gym’s Country Manager) to its customer success team. Taking on a role that will encompass all aspects of software support for Perfect Gym’s clients, Paton’s position is more that a help desk role, but is more ‘hands-on’, presenting the opportunity to work with different customers, systems and requirements while developing solutions for our customers using the Perfect Gym platform.

Send your people news to leisure@ausleisure.com.au








Collingwood Football Club has announced that Swimming Australia’s Mark Anderson has been appointed its new Chief Executive.

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) has announced the appointment of Felicia Mariani as its new Chief Executive, replacing the outgoing Brad Ostermeyer.

Respected fitness industry professional Xenophon ‘Xen’ Angelides has joined HQH Fitness’s Australian team to take up the role of Total Gym National Sales Manager.

World Urban Parks has announced the appointment of Neil McCarthy as its new Chief Executive, replacing founding postholder Digby Whyte.

Fast growing fitness studio franchise Vision Personal Training has announced the appointment of respected industry professional Gavin Aquilina as its new Personal Training Operations Manager.

Former Australian Open Chief Executive Paul McNamee has joined Basketball Australia in a new role to drive commercial growth in the sport.

Corinne Austin, Director of FitFix personal training in Northland has been named Personal Trainer of the Year at the New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards. Three new directors - Tracey Bridges, Wayne Mulligan and Kylie Archer - have been appointed to the board of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA). Football Federation Victoria has named former Socceroo Gary Cole to the position of Manager, Football Strategy and Special Projects. Leading global fitness equipment supplier, Johnson Health Tech has announced the appointment of Michael Conlan as Managing Director of its Australian office. Andrew Dee has been appointed as Volleyball Australia’s new Chief Executive. Following the resignation of Chris Deere in August, Rainbow’s End Board of Directors have announced the appointment of Karen Crabb to the position of Chief Executive of the popular Auckland amusement park. Momentum Waikato Community Foundation has announced the appointment of Kelvyn Eglinton, currently Hamilton City Council’s General Manager City Growth, as its new Chief Executive. Dean Holden has taken on the role of General Manager at SPORTENG. Australian A-League football team Sydney FC has appointed Cameron Honey as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Honey previously served as General Manager of Commercial Development at Football Federation Australia. Ongoing turmoil at Ardent Leisure, operator of Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld theme park, has seen Chief Executive Simon Kelly leave the company after less than five months in the role. Jeremy Johnson, the long serving Chief Executive of Ballarat attraction Sovereign Hill, is to step down from his role in the middle of 2018.

SportsTurf Consultants have announced the appointment of Sam Myott as General Manager. Myott, who joined SportsTurf as an agronomist in 2016, steps into the position after SportsTurf co-founder and director Ron MacCartney moved into a non-executive consultancy role within the business. Stefanie Nicholson has moved from the role of Head of Operations at Go Health Clubs to become Regional Manager at World Gym Australia. Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) Turf Manager Matthew Page has been appointed Head Curator at the MCG. The Brisbane Showgrounds has announced the appointment of Luke Pearl as its new General Manager, Operations. Sydney Sixers General Manager Dominic Remond has moved to take on the role of Chief Executive at Gfinity Australia which is creating a new eSports league with city-based professional franchises. Kakadu Tourism has appointed James Robinson as its new Sales and Marketing Executive, based in the group’s Darwin office. Ian Robson, Chief Executive of Melbourne Victory since July 2013, has moved to the same role at Rowing Australia. The Singapore Sports Hub has announced that its Chief Operating Officer Oon Jin Teik has been promoted to become the precinct’s new Chief Executive, replacing Manu Sawhney who departed the role in May 2017. Claire Toko, Operations Manager at Hamilton’s H3 venues group, was named Simpson Grierson Operations Manager of the Year at the 2017 Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand Awards. The Board of Winter Games NZ has announced the appointment of Snow Sports NZ head Martin Toomey as its new Chief Executive.

Send your people news to leisure@ausleisure.com.au

Carlton Football Club appoint Cain Liddle as new Chief Executive The Carlton Football Club has appointed Cain Liddle, formerly Chief Customer Officer at Richmond Football Club and Managing Director of Aligned Leisure, as its new Chief Executive. Liddle, a former Geelong player, has achieved remarkable success in developing Richmond’s commercial activities since joining the club in 2010, where he was responsible for overseeing membership, retail, licensing, ticketing and corporate revenues. In that time, he has overseen seven consecutive club membership records, growing membership at Richmond from

around 36,000 in 2010 to in excess of 75,000 members in 2017. In 2015 Liddle was responsible for creating alternative revenue streams, establishing a fully owned subsidiary business managing aquatic and recreation facilities. That business, Aligned Leisure, now manages nine facilities, employs almost 300 staff and will deliver annual revenues in the order of $15 million to Richmond this year. Aligned Leisure senior executive Shane Dunne has taken on Liddle’s former role as Chief Executive. Aligned Leisure have also recently appointed two other members to their leadership team. Sec Maljanek has joined as General Manager - Human Resources and Hayley Lacy is Finance Manager.

David Thompson appointed to lead Gumbuya World redevelopment

Experienced attractions sector executive David Thompson has returned to a direct facility management role having recently taken up the position of Chief Executive at Victoria’s Gumbuya World. Thompson, a former member of the Board of the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) and General Manager of Sunshine Coast amusement park Aussie World from 2000 to 2015, initially consulted to the Gumbuya World development before being appointed Chief Executive in November last year. With over 20 years of experience in the Australian attractions industry, Thompson commented “after spending the past months realising the vision behind Gumbuya World, I am delighted to be joining as CEO. “We are committed to building a great team of employees and creating an outstanding place to work. Our number one priority is to ensure that every guest at Gumbuya World experiences a safe and fun visit that exceeds their expectations time and time again.”

VMA appoints new Chief Executive

The Board of the Venue Management Association (Asia Pacific) has appointed Michael Brierley as its new Chief Executive. Brierley comes to the VMA with a 20-year career in sports management within Australia, having previously held senior positions with Yachting Australia (Commercial Manager) and the Australian Olympic Committee (Executive Director; Queensland Olympic Council). Most recently, as Chief Executive of Apex Camps, he successfully turned around the Queensland based youth charity which operated four active recreation venues.

Adelaide Convention Centre leadership change

Simon Burgess has stepped into the role of General Manager at the Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) moving up from his previous role as Director Convention and Exhibition Sales. In the wake of the completion of the ACC’s redevelopment, Burgess replaces Alec Gilbert who finished his tenure on a high at the end of last year with the International Astronautical Congress, the largest international conference held in Adelaide to date. Changes at the ACC have also seen team member Erryn Dryga promoted from a business development position to the role of Senior Sales Manager – Conventions and Exhibitions.

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Rugby Australia makes history with appointment of Raelene Castle as Chief Executive

In a momentous move for Rugby Australia, the organisation has appointed highly-regarded sports administrator Raelene Castle as its Chief Executive. The former CanterburyBankstown Bulldogs and Netball New Zealand Chief Executive was welcomed to her new role by Rugby Australia Chairman, Cameron Clyne who advised that she was the standout applicant from a list of over 200 candidates which included sporting and business leaders from across the globe. Clyne announced “Raelene is an extremely impressive executive who covered every base as far as what the Board was looking for in a Chief Executive Officer to lead our game into an important new chapter. “She offers an incredible wealth of experience in sports administration and business, with an outstanding track record in commercial, marketing and communications roles. “Through her most recent roles as CEO of the Bulldogs and Netball New Zealand, Raelene has led sporting organisations at both a national and club level, giving her an in-depth understanding of what it takes to run a national sporting body as well as the unique challenges for clubs and the importance of building strong relationships and a unity of purpose within a sporting code. “Raelene impressed the board with her vision for rugby and her clear understanding of what needs to be done to strengthen and unite the code at all levels. In talking to Raelene, and those who have worked with her over her successful sports administration career, it is clear that she fosters environments of collaboration and high performance, always leading by example.” Welcoming her new role, Castle stated “I am honoured to be joining Rugby Australia and bringing to it my commercial and sports management and marketing experience. “Having followed rugby closely for over 30 years and having worked in the New Zealand and Australian sporting environments for the past 10 years, there is no doubt Australian rugby has a clear international and domestic offering for both male and female athletes that can be further developed and strengthened.” Wagga Wagga-born Castle will become the first woman to lead the national governing body for rugby and in doing so will become the first female Chief Executive across all of the major national unions in world rugby. Before beginning her career in sports administration with Netball New Zealand in 2007, Castle was a successful communications and marketing executive in the corporate sector. She is a former Head of Business Marketing at Telecom NZ, Communications Manager at Bank of New Zealand and a Marketing Manager for Fuji Xerox. She also has a rich sporting background as a former representative-level netball, tennis and lawn bowls player and as the daughter of New Zealand rugby league captain, Bruce Castle and three-time Commonwealth Games lawn bowls medallist, Marlene Castle. Coinciding with the announcement of Castle’s appointment, the Rugby Australia Board announced that it will lodge official bids to host both the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup and 2027 Rugby World Cup (Men’s) and that it will launch a new national women’s competition this year.

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news

Parents brawl at junior rugby league match in the NSW Illawarra.

Spectators Behaving Badly Janes Bowes considers what clubs and officials can do about poor sideline behaviour


unior sport fosters health, teamwork, application and selfdiscipline in a fun and social environment. However, in a more and more competitive society and with increasingly lucrative professionalism in sport, the desire for success can override some of the softer factors. When this spills over to the sidelines to overly passionate spectators many clubs are understandably caught off guard. Over recent years, a growing number of media reports have highlighted incidents involving poor behaviour from parents and spectators. One example occurred in August 2017 at a junior AFL grand final in Hoppers Crossing when an umpire reportedly had to ‘run for his life’ to get away from physically abusive spectators. Victoria Police are investigating the incident. High profile media incidents underscore this worrying trend. Last year, George Columbaris of television’s Master Chef was convicted for punching a fellow spectator at an A- League football match while former North Melbourne AFL star, Glenn Archer was convicted and fined $2,000 for punching a volunteer runner at an under 15’s junior game in Melbourne. Both matters were appropriately punished by the criminal Courts. But what happens when poor spectator behaviour meets catastrophic injury? A coward punch can cause devastating damage in the blink of an eye and often the perpetrators have no capacity or insurance cover for their illegal act to make recompense. This is where desperate claimants

62 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

may look to cast the net wider towards the deeper pockets of a sporting club or code and its officials, and raises important risk management issues. Sporting clubs liability The starting principle is that no party should be held liable for the criminal acts of an unrelated third party1. However, it gets more complicated when the club ought to have been aware of the risk or escalating situation but takes no precautions. These principles are yet to be tested in the sporting spectator context but analogies can be drawn from the existing established law. A parallel can be drawn with the well-known case of Adeels Palace Pty Ltd v Bou Najem2. A fight broke out in a restaurant and one of the antagonists went away to return with a gun and shoot two people. The plaintiffs argued the restaurant owed a duty of care to take better precautions for the safety of patrons in this escalating situation. The High Court held that even though the restaurant could not be directly liable for the shooter’s criminal act, they owed the Plaintiffs a separate duty to take reasonable care to protect them from foreseeable circumstances, particularly on licensed premises where alcohol can increase the risks. However, in this case it could not be shown any reasonable precautions, such as increased security, would have made a difference. Most security guards will not be in a position to neutralise an enraged gunman. It is not too great a stretch to find sporting clubs, commonly

the holders of liquor licenses themselves, subject to such a duty of care. What steps will be sufficient to discharge this? Alcohol Cole v South Tweed RLFC3 shows how far the alleged duty of care can extend. A drunk and abusive patron of the club refused offers of a courtesy bus to deliver her safely home. She was later struck by a car walking home on a dark roadway and sued the club. The Court found a duty was owed by the club to take precautions for responsible service of alcohol and the safety of clearly intoxicated departing patrons. The claim against the Club failed on appeal because of the explicit refusal to accept assistance while In the UK, the Football Association has used actor Ray Winstone in a campaign to promote better parental behaviour in junior sport. apparently in the care of others, however the matter had to be defended all the way to the High Court. coaches and trainers and is truly passionate about the importance of sport in the community. Jane is an experienced Guidelines litigator, who has practiced on both sides of sports litigation The Australian Sports Commission has introduced a code of (plaintiff and defendant), enhancing her ability to understand conduct in an attempt to combat the incidence of bad spectator her opponents strategy to the advantage to her clients. behavior. The code of conduct is a set of statements that can With thanks to Insurance Made Easy Insurance Brokers be adopted to set out what a club considers to be an acceptable and Sportscover/Touchline. standard of behaviour and conduct. If spectators do not adhere 1.Modbury Triangle Shopping Centre Pty Ltd v Anzil (2000) to the code of conduct they can be asked to leave a sporting 205 CLR 254 venue. 2.Adeels Palace Pty Ltd v Bou Najem [2009] HCA 48 The NSW Office of Sport lists six crucial risk management (10 November 2009). steps for a club: develop codes of conduct; establish disciplinary 3.Cole v South Tweed Heads Rugby League Football Club Ltd procedures; have clear incident processes; bind the non[2004] HCA 29 members to the rules of the club; appoint ground officials and train officials and club members to be able to deal with difficult members and situations. The duty of clubs is one of reasonable care. It is not an YOUR TRUSTED obligation to prevent any incident, just do what they reasonably SPECIALISTS can to minimise the risk. Some examples of good risk management are: •Clear and concise codes of conduct for spectators prominently Since 1992, Insurance Made Easy Insurance Brokers displayed at the venue; have been insuring clients of the Australian leisure •Monitoring and enforcement of the code, with polite requests, industry. warnings or removal as may be commensurate with the conduct; •Clear guidelines to management for when the police should We have a team of very specialised insurance experts be called to assist; that have years of knowledge in the assessment of •Adequate security staff where trouble might be expected; insurance risks and claims, so when they are assisting •Keeping a record of any incidents and near misses; one of our clients or liaising with the Underwriter their •Period of time suspensions or blanket bans for serious or knowledge is unsurpassed and respected within the repeat offenders. industry. The above measures may seem extreme but often the simple articulation of what is not acceptable is enough to curb We are not just Insurance Brokers, we form behaviour. A lower grade awkward situation might nip in the relationships, which sets us apart from the Industry. bud a much more serious situation getting out of control. Clubs need to be conscious that their role is to set guidelines for and Insurance Services include: monitor behaviour but any difficult or dangerous enforcement situations should be left to well-trained experts such as the •Professional Indemnity police or security providers. Striking the right balance will •Management Liability (Directors & Officers) improve the sporting experience for all and protect against any •General Property (all risks-mobile equipment) legal liability. •Vehicles Jane Bowes specialises in sports insurance litigation at •Group & Corporate Travel Insurance Hall & Wilcox in Brisbane. She can be contacted on 07 3231 7734 E: jane.bowes@hallandwilcox.com.au For more information about our insurance services Bowes has successfully defended an array of matters talk to us on 1800 641 260. involving sporting clubs, venues, sports associations, Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 63

Walkers alongside Travers River on the Nelson/Marlborough leg of Te Araroa. Image credit: Ben Curran.

Record numbers on the Te Araroa Trail James Heffield looks at the growing popularity of New Zealand’s long distance tramping route


he number of people walking the Te Araroa Trail is on the rise. Last year’s 2016/17 summer season saw record numbers of people taking to New Zealand’s national trail, with some sections recording more than double the number of walkers anticipated. The trail traverses 3,000 kilometres of stunning New Zealand scenery as it winds its way from Cape Reinga in the north of New Zealand, to Bluff, in the far south. Te Araroa Trust Chief Executive Rob Wakelin said more than 550 people walked the entire length of the trail over the 2016/17 summer season, and hundreds of thousands more walked regional sections on shorter hikes and day walks. Wakelin explained “walking the entire trail typically takes four to five months, so to see upwards of 550 Kiwis and international visitors doing it over the course of a single summer season is fantastic. It’s a good increase on the 350 people who walked the whole trail in 2015/16 and the 210 who enjoyed it the year before, so we’re pleased with the steady and manageable growth.” Wakelin was also impressed by the number of people walking individual sections of the trail. The Paekakariki Escarpment Track on the Kapiti Coast was walked by more than 60,000 people last summer - significantly more than the 30,000 projected when the Trust opened the trail - and the Puhoi Track north of Auckland has also been popular 64 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

with local walkers since opening in 2014. Other highly trafficked sections include urban stretches on Auckland’s North Shore and Wellington’s Oriental Parade, which both see hundreds of thousands of walkers a year, and sections alongside the Waikato River in Hamilton and in the hills around Queenstown. Wakelin said the high proportion of New Zealanders walking the trail this year was particularly pleasing. With long distance trail walking largely an international phenomenon, during the 2016/17 summer season around one in five Te Araroa walkers were New Zealanders. Te Araroa Trust Chair David McGregor welcomes this and is pleased to see the hundreds more Kiwis who are walking the trail in sections over a number of years and the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who are enjoying individual sections of the trail as day walks. He explains “awareness of the Te Araroa experience is growing and people at many different stages of their lives are now walking it, from students and young people taking a gap year to retirees and workers taking an extended holiday. “It’s a great way to connect with New Zealand and to really get to know the landscapes, people and climate that have shaped us as a nation.” While completing the full trail in one sitting is considered

a badge of honour by some, other Kiwis are making it their mission to walk the trail in sections, over a number of years. Palmerston North tramper Anthony Behrens and his partner Fiona Burleigh walked the 1,400 km South Island section of the trail in the summer of 2015, followed by a modified version of the normal 1,600 km North Island Te Araroa route last summer. Their inspiration for long-trail walking came from Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. While considering walking the Appalachian Trail in North America or Spain’s El Camino de Santiago trail, they met a group of German and French Te Araroa walkers who spoke fondly of New Zealand’s own long trail. Behrens explains “their stories stayed with us and we were hooked. I liked the environmental aspect. Te Araroa is in our own country, which means there is no air travel and less of a carbon footprint. Our house is on the trail alongside the Manawatu River, so we just walked out the door and caught the train to Wellington when we did the North Island. It was a different kind of holiday and an amazing sensation.” Since completing the trail Behrens and Burleigh have maintained their connection with the trail and those who walk it by offering free accommodation to some of the many walkers who pass by their home. Te Araroa Trust figures show that the growing number of walkers has contributed an estimated more than $5 million to the economy, with walkers reporting an average spend of between $7,000 and $10,000 throughout their four to five month journey. The tens of thousands of other people walking individual sections of the trail on shorter trips were also providing a boost for businesses in many small towns through their purchases of coffees, ice creams and other ‘vital supplies’ before or after their walks. Commenting on the value of the trail, McGregor adds “Te Araroa walkers are often spending money in places mainstream economic development initiatives don’t touch. The trail is giving businesses along its route a nice little leg up, and the number of walkers is just going to keep on growing.” Among the many businesses benefitting are Main St Lodge, in Kaitaia, and the Mangamuka Dairy, in the township of Mangamuka on the eastern boundary of Northland’s Raetea Forest. The Mangamuka Dairy is one of the few places trail walkers can re-supply as they pass through Raetea and Omahuta Forests. The store’s bacon and egg burgers have become

legendary among walkers, with many of them mentioning the burgers and owner Eliza Chapman-Kete’s hospitality on their travel blogs. Further south, near Wellington, Paekakariki’s Perching Parrot restaurant is reported a similar boom. Co-owner Nicole Duke said the number of people through the restaurant’s doors was up by about a third on some days following the opening of the Paekakariki Escarpment Track section of Te Araroa in 2016. More than 60,000 locals and visitors have walked the escarpment track in its opening year, with many making a trip into Paekakariki, at the start of the track, to buy refreshments. The idea of a national walkway goes back to the 1970s, when it was first advocated for by the Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand and in 1975 the New Zealand Walkways Commission was established. In 1994, journalist Geoff Chapple advocated a New Zealandlong walking track, and founded Te Araroa Trust. Advocacy and negotiations for access continued, and by 2006 plans for the trail began being part of local government plans. After 10 years of work by hundreds of volunteers, the route officially opened on 3rd December 2011. James Heffield is Director of Last Word Writing Services, and undertakes media relations on behalf of the Te Araroa Trust.

Helpmann Award 2017 Winner Best Musical: The Book of Mormon

LPA’s Centenary Live Performance Australia, the peak body for the live performance industry, has just passed its 100 years of operations. Karen Sweaney looks at its achievements


t could be imagined that when an organisation reaches a venerable age that it might start to rest on its laurels, but for Live Performance Australia (LPA), which celebrated its 100 years of operations at the close of 2017, this is far from the situation. Indeed, the organisation appears to have never been more active, representing its members’ interests on a wide range of issues and topics. In the last 12 months this has included a guide to help consumers avoid ticketing scams (as well as lobbying on the issue of ticket reselling); giving guidance on children in the entertainment industry, calling for action on marriage equality; along with its annual Ticket Attendance and Revenue Survey and The Helpmann Awards. Founded 100 years ago, the organisation has been servicing the needs of the live entertainment industry for more than a century and is today registered as an Employers’ Organisation under the Fair Work (Registered Organisation) Act 2009. On 11th October 1917 the Theatrical Proprietors’ and Managers’ Association was officially registered as an organisation of employers in or in connection with the Theatrical, Vaudeville and General Amusement Industry. The Association’s foundation President was Sir George Tallis of entrepreneurs J.C. Williamson Ltd, with Hugh D. McIntosh of 66 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

the Tivoli Vaudeville Circuit and Sir Benjamin Fuller of Fuller’s Theatres as vice presidents. The original membership fees were one guinea ($2.10) a year. Unfortunately all of the LPA’s early records were lost when fire destroyed Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne in 1928. From 1938, the Association’s solicitor was future Prime Minister Harold Holt. By 1976, the Association’s membership included every theatre owner and major entrepreneur in Australia, both commercial and subsidised and, having been through a variety of name changes over the years, most recently changing from the Australian Entertainment Industry Association (AEIA) to LPA in 2006, the centenary has, surprisingly, been marked with little fanfare. LPA’s members include hundreds of commercial and subsidised organisations covering theatre, musicals, opera, dance, festivals, contemporary and classical music, comedy and variety, circus and physical theatre, special events, colleges, multi-purpose and sporting venues and hirers, casinos, orchestras, ticketing, exhibitions and displays, promotion and production, cinema exhibition, crewing, sound and lighting, service supply and contracting. LPA is managed by an Executive Council drawn from representatives of its membership, elected every two years.

Helpmann Award 2017 Winner Best Regional Touring Production Bangarra Dance Theatre: Terrain

The Council is geographically representative as well as covering the wide range of members’ activities, centring on three core areas: Workplace Relations; Policy and Strategy; Membership Services and Events. In 1998, the Association inaugurated the annual J.C. Williamson Award™, the foremost honour the Australian live entertainment industry can bestow. In 2001, LPA introduced the annual national Helpmann Awards to recognise artistic excellence. Named in honour of Sir Robert Helpmann’s memory and achievements, the annual awards recognise achievements in the disciplines of musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre. Over 40 competitive awards are given to productions, festivals and concerts, and for individuals for their work in performance, direction, choreography, lighting, sound, music, costume and scenic design. The Helpmann Awards ceremony is a major event for the Australian entertainment industry and they are televised nationally. Today, LPA strive to ensure the growth and long term sustainability of the Australian live performance industry, representing its members’ interests on a wide range of issues and topics. The LPA’s major anniversary activity has been the

Helpmann Award 2017 Winner Best Cabaret: Hot Brown Honey

LPA 2017 Centenary Award recipients (from left): Ian McRae, Robyn Nevin, Jim Sharman, Archie Roach, Robyn Archer, Reg Livermore, Carrillo Gantner and Susan Provan. Courtesy of Jim Lee.

presentation of its Centenary Awards, recognising 10 industry luminaries with special awards to celebrate its 100 years. Presented at the Sydney Opera House, these lifetime achievement Awards were announced as five 2017 Centenary JC Williamson Awards and five 2017 Centenary Sue Nattrass Awards. The Sue Nattrass Award recognises outstanding service to the live performance industry in a field which may not enjoy a high public profile. The Awards were presented to: 2017 Centenary Sue Nattrass Award Carrillo Gantner AO Ian McRae AO Rhoda Robert AO Susan Provan Frank Van Straten AM 2017 Centenary JC Williamson Award Robyn Archer AO Reg Livermore AO Robyn Nevin AM Archie Roach AM Jim Sharman Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 67


Pico forms new Imaginators company to create engaging experiences

Hong Kong-based brand activation and attractions design group Pico Far East Holdings Limited has announced the formation of a new company, Imaginators, to complement and augment its offerings for the complex marketing landscape in the digital era. A strategic talent-based agency that creates experiences through humanised technology, Imaginators will deliver creative brand engagements through strategic audits and diagnoses, customer intelligence, the creation of IP events and live experiences, and communications strategies. Leveraging the Pico network of agencies, Imaginators aims to play a key role in strengthening the Group’s loyal client base through cultivating deeper engagements and relationships. Pico, which is currently working on the regeneration of Victorian wildlife attraction Gumbuya Park with a waterpark, bush resort and improved facilities, received a Thea Award 2017 for Outstanding Achievement in the theme park category from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) for its work at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Contact Mark Eady of Pico Play Pty Ltd on 0418 150 306, E: mark.eady@au.pico.com, www.pico.com

Wattbike announces Johnson Health Tech Australia as new distributor partner

Leading indoor cycle maker Wattbike has announced the appointment of Johnson Health Tech Australia (JHTA) as its distributor throughout Australia, with the Victorian-based business to sell and service Wattbike’s Pro and Trainer models across all parts of the country. Since launching its first product in 2008, UK based Wattbike has placed its Pro and Trainer models in a comprehensive spectrum of facilities in search of the most advanced workout experience complete with the most accurate, progressive and informative feedback. Wattbike customers range from professional teams and pro athletes to the military and high performance training centres to health clubs of all shapes and sizes. The Wattbike models offer sports scientists a uniquely reliable and precisely accurate training tool to optimise the performance of pro and amateur athletes alike. In Australia, Wattbike has played an integral part in training a range of top athletes through organisations such as the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), and is deeply embedded in the programs of teams across both rugby codes and the AFL. In taking on distribution, JHTA will aim to broaden Wattbike’s presence across all segments of the Australian training and fitness markets. Contact John Mullen, JHTA National Commercial Sales Manager on 0431 025 381, wattbike.com/au

First Life Floor anti-slip installation completed at Julia Creek Swimming Pool

Life Floor has just completed their first Australian installation for the McKinlay Shire Council at the Julia Creek Swimming Pool in North Queensland. Installed as part of a new splashpad, the new 130 metre² installation is of Life Floor ripple texture tiles in three shades: bluebird, iceberg and porcelain. Life Floor is a soft, anti-slip, non abrasive floor tile made in the USA. The foam rubber tiles have been made especially for aquatics – where people are barefoot in wet areas. Grant Burgess of distributor Sport + Venues Australia explains “we all know how important it is to be safe in water but it’s also becoming increasingly important with pool operators and councils to be safe around water. “Knowing painted concrete is unforgiving underfoot; and if coated with slip resistant paint in addition to still being hard, it’s also abrasive, the builder wanted to try something new. “The Council agreed and so Life Floor was installed.” Contact 1300 721 135, E: info@sportandvenues.com.au, www.sportandvenues.com.au 68 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Myzone launches new brand identity

Leading wearable fitness technology solution Myzone has unveiled a fresh brand look. Established in 2011, the company has seen significant yearon-year growth, making ‘wearable tech’ relevant and userfriendly for fitness facilities operators and end users. With a host of followers and influencers driving the brand, Myzone is now setting out a clear brand strategy including its values, mission, and personality. The new look will become apparent in Myzone’s content and collateral into 2018 with a gentle transition of change. Contact Mike Beeney of Myzone on 03 8643 7474, E: mike.beeney@myzone.org, www.myzone.org

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Philips Lighting illuminates PyeongChang Winter Olympics venues

Industry leader Philips Lighting has revealed that its Philips ArenaVision lighting is being used at four PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics venues. The floodlighting has been installed at PyeongChang venues the Phoenix Snow Stadium, the Gangneung and Gwandong Hockey Centres and the Gangneung Ice Arena to be used for ski, snowboard, hockey, skating and short track. Viewed as one of the global leaders in sports lighting, Philips ArenaVision floodlighting has already been installed at numerous major stadia in South Korea and around the world. Philips ArenaVision floodlighting is designed to enable athletes to perform at their best and fans to enjoy the sport to the fullest. Delivering light with a colour temperature which is close to daylight (5600k), it enhances the concentration of both athletes and audiences. Its high colour rendering index of 90 shows the real colour of an object, enhancing the visual performance, which is particularly relevant in sports such as figure skating. Commenting on the installations, Kees Klein Hesselink, Global Key Account Manager for Philips Lighting Arena Solutions stated “Philips ArenaVision has built up its success and reputation over many years of being deployed at major global sports events. “We are confident that it will help both the performance of athletes and the enjoyment of spectators and millions of home viewers during major sports events.” Contact 1300 304 404, www.lighting.philips.com.au

UK company secures seating contracts at Australia’s major venue developments

Two of Australia’s major recent venue seating contracts, at Perth’s Optus Stadium and the under construction Western Sydney Stadium, have been secured by UK-based company Bluecube. Winning tenders against local competitors, Bluecube’s first Australian success was announced in April last year. With seating comfort being a significant design consideration for the Optus Stadium, the new venue’s seat design and colours were a result of 18 months of consultation and testing with the development’s Sports Fans User Group. The 60,000 seats are 50cm wide with cup-holders positioned on seat backs. Noteable Bluecube seating installations have been at London’s Olympic Stadium, Lords Cricket Ground and Wembley Stadium; several of Brazil’s 2014 FIFA World Cup venues and the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Contact Bluecube Australia/New Zealand Partner Ace Seating on 1300 453 396, E: info@aceseating.com.au, www.aceseating.com.au

Gladstone software helps Virgin Active customise the fitness experience

When members check in to any of Australia’s Virgin Active Health Clubs the technology that enables their access (including the card reader, check in system and membership database) is all powered by software from Gladstone Health & Leisure. Virgin Active has been using Gladstone’s health and fitness club management software for a number of years, a relationship that offers significant benefits for one of Australia’s best-known fitness, activity and lifestyle brands. A subsidiary of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Virgin Active has six sites across Australia, specialising in personalised fitness and lifestyle experiences to help its customers get fit and have fun ‘the Virgin Way’. While Gladstone Health & Leisure provides comprehensive software that works ‘straight out of the box’, it also offers possibilities for companies with very specific needs that want to customise the experience they create for their staff and customers. Virgin Active Head of Brand and Marketing, Anton Brown, says having software that is highly configurable by design is essential for Virgin Active. Brown explains “our software forms an integral part of the customer journey to deliver amazing workout experiences for all of our different member needs.” Gladstone software enables Virgin Active to develop additional functionality to support its unique requirements, with clubs able to offer a customised experience by designing everything to meet the specific needs of its staff and members. This extends from branding on the user interface to modules for frequent flyer points and laundry service management. Gladstone software is also used to provide live data across Virgin Active’s sites, enabling members to be recognised at more than one site and giving them access to organisationwide special offers. Gladstone Business Manager Ian Wilcock says Gladstone’s software has a fully customisable Application Programming Interface (API), allowing businesses to develop the software in ways that wouldn’t be possible with other leisure and fitness software. Wilcock advises “the system Virgin Active uses is very much theirs. It’s customised with their branding and their own user interface and, it’s been created to suit their specific needs.” Wilcock says having a software platform that provides managers with the ability to better understand their business and administer some facets from a central point is also very valuable for businesses working across multiple sites. In this way, Gladstone provides a solid foundation while also giving businesses the building blocks they need to develop their own unique software functionality in a single platform. Contact 1300 242 067, E: info@gladstonemrm.com.au, www.gladstonemrm.com.au Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 69


Perfect Gym Solutions opens sales and customer support office in Melbourne

Fast growing industry software provider Perfect Gym Solutions has announced the opening of a new sales and customer support office in Melbourne’s Essendon Fields business precinct. Country Manager Matt Inglis, who leads Perfect Gym’s Melbourne office and its Asia-Pacific team, explains “to accommodate the tremendous growth that Perfect Gym has experienced over the past year, Essendon Fields, Melbourne was a logical step in our business growth strategy. “We wanted space that allowed for more growth but somewhere that felt comfortable for our current team. Our new location encourages collaboration with an open floorplan with plenty of sunlight, a fun location where we enjoy working.” The opening of the new Melbourne office follows a period of rapid global growth for Perfect Gym during 2017. With the global head office in Warsaw, Poland, and offices in Moscow, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden and Madrid, Spain, Perfect Gym clients span throughout 38 countries, regions including Australia, New Zealand, USA, India, UK and Malaysia. Perfect Gym offers a comprehensive, high-tech club management solution for fitness clubs, sports facilities and gyms which drives business owners around the world to reach their professional excellence. Its platform includes sales, membership management, billing, booking, marketing and reporting its business driven precise and intuitive modules. Contact 1300 088 922, E: info@perfectgym.com.au, www.perfectgym.com.au

VLocker wins IAAPA Award for innovative ride locker

Leading international locker supplier VLocker was recently recognised for its innovative Dual Access Ride Locker at the 2017 IAAPA Brass Ring Awards. Achieving second place in the Best New Product Concept Award: Other Products/Services at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions annual Awards, presented during the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 in Orlando, Florida, USA, the Australian-headquarted company announced on their Facebook page “our team work hard in ensuring that our products are ever evolving and continually innovative, the award is just the icing on the cake.” Having grown to become a leading supplier of lockers to attractions in North America, VLocker’s Dual Access Ride Locker is an expansion of their water and theme park locker range. The Dual Access Ride Locker offers a specific solution to solve the problem of providing guests short term locker space while riding the latest high intensity inverted rollercoasters and thrill rides. With it being a mandatory requirement to provide ride lockers on inverted rides and guests not expecting to pay for a ride locker, Vlocker’s Dual Access Ride Locker solves that problem for attractions designers. Contact 1300 664 060, E: sales@vlocker.com, www.vlocker.com 70 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

Supreme Heating launches ground-breaking hybrid solar PV thermal panel

Supreme Heating, one of Australia’s most trusted pool heating companies had announced the launch of its new two-in-one solar solution, the Heatseeker DualSun hybrid solar PV thermal panel. Launched at the 2018 SPASA Pool & Spa Expo + Outdoor Living at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, the European manufactured hybrid solar PV thermal panel has been cleverly designed to utilise the excess heat from the photovoltaic (PV) panels to provide electricity and thermal heating for commercial swimming pool venues. Essentially, the panel simultaneously produces photovoltaic electricity for the building and heated water for the pool. The electricity generated by the high efficiency monocrystalline cells can cover all the electricity needs of the swimming pool while any surplus electricity can be self-consumed in the commercial swimming pool facility, or returned to the grid for a feed-in tariff or net-metering program. The patented ultra-thin heat exchanger is completely integrated into the panel. As the pool water flows through the heat exchanger, the water is heated while simultaneously cooling the panel. This results in a highly efficient transfer of heat between the photovoltaic surface and the water circulation on the underside. Traditional photovoltaic panels generate much more heat than electricity. The cooling effect on the DualSun panel allows the photovoltaic electrical generation to be maintained, and increases peak performance by up to 20%. A DualSun installation generating heated water and solar electricity produces up to four times more energy than a standard PV installation. Supreme Heating Business Development Manager, Peter Alderton explains “we are very excited to bring the evolution of solar power to the swimming pool & spa industry here in Australia. The panels are designed for swimming pools and preheating hot water applications, which optimises production.” Heatseeker DualSun provides a powerful solution for the swimming pool and spa industry, and more importantly commercial swimming pool venues. The simultaneous generation of electricity and heated water allows the ongoing energy consumption of a pool to be neutralised, and avoid any government legislation that could negatively impact the industry. Contact 03 9460 4200, E: solar.vic@supremeheating.com.au, www.supremeheating.com.au

SwimDesk module cuts administration time for school based lessons

SwimDesk new school’s module has been specifically designed to help swim schools cut down administration time for schoolbased lessons. SwimDesk schools allows users to manage school-based lessons electronically, significantly reducing the paperwork and filing involved with lesson management. Key features of the SwimDesk school’s module include: options for schools to upload class or student lists via the schools portal; online enrolment links including level allocation questionnaires; a rapid class creator with options to assign students based on recommended starting level; progression and attendance tracking and digital certificates. Contact 1300 181 665, E: info@greenedesk.com, www.greenedesk.com.au


Mattioli launches new dedicated Aquatic and Recreation website

Ongoing aquatic inflatable innovations from Aflex

Having achieved many notable firsts in its more than 20 years in business, New Zealand-based Aflex technology continues to create unique aquatic designs. Innovating and manufacturing to deliver the best solutions for their customers one example of their ingenuity is their aquatic inflatable ‘re-entry pod’, introduced in 2013. Ensuring a quick, easy and safe entry onto inflatable aquatic play features from the water, the re-entry pod is now incorporated into the design of Aflex aquatic play structures and has been widely adopted by other companies in the sector. In the fledging stage of the Aflex business, Managing Director Martin Stratford designed many innovative concepts and PVC products before settling on specialising in aquatic inflatables. Examples of this innovation includes a free standing collapsible Monsoon bucket for the fire fighting industry, designed and developed by Stratford after requests from helicopter pilots for solutions to have a collapsible yet free standing bucket for a quicker response time to fire fighting and easier water filling. This patented product was a world first in the industry at the time. Another innovation was the SIMB (self inflating marker buoy) for yacht racing events. Stratford, a yacht racing official in Nelson, developed the SIMB as a solution for yacht racing when laying marks for yachting regattas and for Olympic trials back in 2000. The fully collapsible buoy, which requires no pumps, valves or gas bottles, replaced the need to use conventional large sealed buoys when setting an accurate yacht racing course. Inflatable signage walls, as used by the Waikato Chiefs Super Rugby team – a safe soft inflatable barrier offering over 210 metres of sponsors’ signage space are another Aflex innovation. One of Aflex’s latest installations has been for the Adrenaline Adventure Park, which opened in Northland in November. A first for the area and already a very popular attraction, the aquatic playground is located in a beautiful bush setting with camping accommodation. Measuring 32 metres x 28 metres with 13 exciting and challenging pieces, the Park has proved extremely popular since opening with operator Cody Rouse planning to add further modules in the future. Contact 03 546 6747 (in New Zealand) or 1800 147 017 (in Australia), E: info@aflextechnology.com, www.aflextechnology.com

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news

Mattioli have launched a dedicated aquatic and recreation website with information, case studies and videos on all aspects of paint and floor maintenance. 2017 saw the leisure sector become Mattioli’s largest division having supported councils, swim schools and aquatic centres across Australia. Now, to make it easier for their largest customer base to find out more about their products, the team has launched recreation.mattioli.com.au From video case studies on pool deck resurfacing to mini case studies on balance tanks, the new dedicated site includes information to help recognise some of the complex maintenance issues facing aquatic centres, swim school operators and councils. The new website has a clean uncluttered design, improved functionality and enhanced rich content focused on the industry challenges and Mattioli’s mission to provide innovative support, becoming a trusted name in aquatics and recreation On the new website, visitors can also stay informed with the latest news by signing up to a new upcoming newsletter featuring the latest projects, product innovations and industry news. Mattioli provides painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. Mattioli’s Lawrence Smith explains “we’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning service, meticulous workmanship and an attention to detail that has given us an unsurpassed reputation.” Contact 03 9544 3755, E: lawrence@mattioli.com.au, www.mattioli.com.au

Synergy Fitness to distribute Stages Cycling Education and Stages Flight products

Stages Indoor Cycling has announced Synergy Fitness as an additional distributor for their products in the Australian market. As well as continuing distributing Stages Products, Synergy Fitness will be responsible for Stages Cycling Education and Stages Flight in Australia. Having two established distributors will allow Stages Indoor Cycles to rapidly grow their market share and enhance their selling opportunity to well-renowned key accounts in Australia. Stages is a leading market brand that has captured the attention of professional riders such as Team Sky in Tour De France. Produced by passionate riders that build indoor bikes, the Stages SC Series caters to a wide range of customers, from beginners to triathletes. These indoor bikes are enhanced with accurate power metres, SprintShift function and quick position adjustments. The outcome is a smooth ride with accurate data that will encourage serious cyclists into any studio, while inspiring current clientele to push themselves further than before. Contact 1800 219 622, E: sales@synergyfitness.com.au Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 71


New Hammer Strength Athletic Bridge triples the functionality of training space

Designed to expand the functionality of an existing training space so facilities can better cater to the training needs of clients from beginners to elite athletes, the new Hammer Strength HD Athletic Bridge is now available in Australia. The innovative system has been engineered to span above a training area, creating a new, powerful and flexible space that can be used for Olympic lifting, body weight training, group suspension training, and a variety of other dynamic group programs. The system is available in four high-wear colours which can be mixed and matched for the frames, uprights and crossmembers with the various configuration sizes of a single, double and triple bridge allowing the HD Athletic Bridge to fit seamlessly into any space. Contact 03 9535 4600, E: enquiry@lifefitness.com.au, www.lifefitness.com.au

Regupol marks 30 years of flooring products supply

Leading fitness flooring supplier Regupol Australia has marked 30 years of operations, supplying the fitness, recreation and sport sectors, as well as the education, retail, commercial and construction industries, with an internationally recognised range of recycled rubber flooring and acoustic underlay products and systems. First shown at last April’s Fitness Show in Sydney to flag its 30 years of operations, the NSW-based business supplies everroll® rubber flooring collection for fitness facilities. In addition to the everroll®, the company also supplies Regupol® Shooting Ranges, Regupol tartan® Athletic Tracks’ BSW tatami Martial Arts Mats and BSW floorworks Sports Mats. Manufactured in Germany by Regupol partner BSW GmbH, BSW products pioneer the use of recycled materials and highly sustainable production techniques. BSW is one of the world’s largest users of scrap tyre rubber - reducing, recycling and reusing it in the manufacture of a broad range of rubber products. With more than 100 rubber flooring products to choose from, Regupol is Australia’s largest stockist of sustainable rubber flooring and soundproofing acoustic underlays. Contact 02 4624 0050, E: sales@regupol.com.au, www.regupol.com.au 72 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018

New steps improve access to Cockburn ARC pool

The award winning Cockburn ARC aquatic facility in southern metropolitan Perth has introduced new pool steps to allow anyone of any ability - elderly, arthritic, expectant mothers, young learners or anyone who is uncomfortable with or has difficulty using traditional vertical swimming pool ladders - to enter its 25 metre pool. The Platypus Pool Steps were introduced following customer feedback and allow participants to enter and exit the pool more easily during the aqua classes held in the mornings. Since 2015, when it ended importing the Easy Ladder from the USA, NSW-based Para Mobility have been manufacturing Platypus Pool Steps in Australia. Para Mobility advised “the Steps are 100% Australian made and owned (which) gives us greater quality control, a localised product and keeps our pricing highly competitive without worrying about the variable strength of the Aussie dollar.” Contact 02 9651 4446, E: sales@paramobility.com.au, www.paramobility.com.au

New chapter for Wellington’s Hannah Playhouse

Wellington’s landmark Hannah Playhouse is thriving as a busy theatre-for-hire. Previously the home to Downstage Theatre until the company closed in 2014, recent changes involved a new partnership with New Zealand-based ticketing company iTICKET, which includes becoming a box office for national tickets, convenient for anyone looking to purchase tickets to events across the country. iTICKET Chief Executive Reece Preston explains “we are excited to be starting a new relationship with the Hannah Playhouse. iTICKET was founded on our passion for live theatre and we love working with venues like the Hannah who bring a rich and vibrant history of New Zealand theatre. We look forward to providing audiences with an improved ticketing experience when they purchase tickets to shows at the Hannah.” The iTICKET partnership is enabling Hannah Playhouse patrons to choose to present eTickets on a smartphone to be scanned at the door; multiple online payment options - Hannah patrons can choose to pay by standard credit card, Bank Transfer or with iTICKET’s new Online EFTPOS service; while also offering more ways to access tickets, via a mobile-responsive website, freephone 0508 iTICKET, in-person from the Wellington i-Site and also from the Hannah Playhouse box office. Contact 0508 484 253, E: support@iticket.co.nz, www.iticket.co.nz


New features for Clubware 4.2

Leading fitness centre management software Clubware is enhancing its user experience with a suite of new and improved features around members, reporting, access control, administration and the web API in its latest version. Originally launched in 2001 with several upgrades over the years, Clubware 4.2 is distributed by Debitsuccess and PaySmart in Australasia, DFC and Harlands in the United Kingdom, and now Debitsuccess in the United States – each of whom are part of global full service payment solutions provider the Transaction Services Group. Designed and developed based on valuable feedback from users in the fitness industry, Clubware 4.2 includes a number of innovative features around different aspects: •Members – Exit time, duration, and visited zone information is now displayed on members’ visit information, •Reports – Reports can now be based on stored procedures rather than views, which has a number of advantages. Performance can often be substantially faster with a report based on a stored procedure, •Access Control – Support to allow third party access control providers to integrate via the Web API has been added. Clubware has developed a message broker to integrate with Gantner access control using this new capability, •Visit Zones – Zones can be grouped together to distinguish between different areas being visited by members. More details on Zone updates and improvements are available in the release notes. Clubware is currently used by more than 1,000 fitness clubs across Australasia and the United Kingdom. Its ongoing development and improvement are growing its appeal with clubs and associations outside the traditional health and fitness space with a growing range of organisations finding its tools and features useful for running their administration. Contact Clubware in Australia on 1800 114 777, E: support@clubware.com.au and New Zealand on 09 481 0490, E: support@clubware.co.nz

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Technogym equipped C2K Castle Hill presents wellness choices of the future

The C2K Fitness and Aquatic Centre in Sydney’s Hills District is about to reap the benefits of introducing Technogym’s ‘Connected Wellness Experience’ for their members and local community. Explaining the concept, powered by Technogym’s ARTIS® equipment and the mywellness® cloud technology, Carlos Garcia, Manager of Health, Fitness and Sport at C2K, comments “mywellness will allow a ground-breaking personalised experience for our club members enabling them to access their training programs, data track record and personal content and apps on the Technogym equipment or anywhere in the world, thanks to the mywellness mobile app and web portal. Alongside the launch of the Connected Wellness Experience concept, C2K Fitness and Aquatic Centre will be offering a complete line of high-tech exercise equipment to the Hills’ local community, thanks to Technogym’s ARTIS range. Made in Italy, Technogym’s ARTIS is the first collection of 30 products for cardio, strength and functional training, which ensures quality design, biomechanical engineering, interactive technology and eco-sustainability. Contact 1800 615 440, E: info.au@technogym.com, www.technogym.com

Melbourne Airport launches challenging new children’s playspace

An innovative new children’s playground has been unveiled as part of a new look retail and dining precinct in the Melbourne Airport’s T2 International Terminal. Developed by Innovative Retail and Melbourne Airport, the playspace consists of an innovative rope climbing structure to help children develop their hand eye coordination. It also features a line of sculptural connected cubes made from PLAYTIME SoftPlay systems that are designed for children to create their own fun through non-prescriptive play. Introducing the playspace, Innovative Retail Chief Executive Dale Smorgon advised “we’ve worked closely with Melbourne Airport to deliver a colourful and engaging playspace that seamlessly fits within the Terminal. We wanted to create a fun experience for the whole family, for kids to get active and be creative in the playspace, while parents relax before their flight.” Innovative Retail drew on their 25 years of experience to design the playground to suit children aged two to 10 years old to help encourage kids development through play. Smorgon added “we are seeing a growing trend for airports and shopping centres alike looking for solutions to support families. “Our recent research found that 90% of shoppers agreed that having play facilities to entertain children at shopping centres enhanced the overall experience in the centre.” Contact Innovative Retail on 03 9890 7577, playon.com.au Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018 73


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Excel Lockers commits to minimising environmental impact

Page No.

AALARA 2018 23 Aflex Inflatables




Astral Pool 5 ClubWare


Crystal Pools 45 Debit Success


Elite Pool Covers




FFA Paysmart 11 Fitness on Demand


Fitness Show 2018


Golf Business Forum


GymFobs Direct


HF Industries 49 Highgate Group




Jonas Leisure

38 & 39

Les Mills 55 MAPEI 33 Mattioli 51 Metra Australia






Perfect Gym


PICO 19 Rae-Line 27 ROLLER 21 SICO South Pacific


SLE Worldwide




Supreme Heating


Swimplex Aquatics/Polin


TicketServ 29 Tim Batt Water Solutions


Trisley’s Hydraulic Services


Venue Industry Congress






Leading high quality locker and storage equipment manufacturer Excel Lockers has announced an impressive company policy which aims to minimise the company’s impact on the environment. The company has recently installed state-of-the-art solar panelling on the roof of its warehouse facility in Brisbane while also provided visitors to its company website with a link to live reports detailing the energy that the installation is saving. Excel Lockers Managing Director Tony Downes explains that the installation and the transparency of the reporting is a crucial part of the company’s understanding of its moral obligations to the environment. Downes states “Excel Lockers has always understood that our company has moral, legal and continuing obligations to limit our impact on the environment. “With regards to our products for instance we have always been committed to helping our clients extend their lifespan or to help them responsibly disassemble, recycle or dispose of them at the end of their useful life. “In addition, over the years our business has constantly grown and so have our electricity bills … so we decided it was about time we did something about it and opted to install solar panels. This has also allowed us to do our bit for the environment.” A link on the company website takes the visitor to live reports that detail the CO2 emissions saved along with details such as the equivalent number of trees that could effectively be planted as a result of the savings. Excel Lockers’ management and staff aim to implement an Environmental Management System that documents the steps taken to minimise the impact on the environment by adhering to objectives and targets to minimise the company’s environmental footprint, by initiatives such the installation of LED lighting throughout the factory and investigation into solar power (renewable energy) at its manufacturing premises. Contact Excel Lockers National Sales Manager, John Lupton on 0408 886 346, www.excellockers.com.au

Wexer acquires Fitness First subsidiary, Connected Fitness Labs, to create ‘one-stop shop for digital fitness’

In a move that demonstrates its strong growth ambitions, digital fitness technology leader Wexer has announced its acquisition of London-based mobile app development company Connected Fitness Labs (CFL). Consolidating its position as a onestop shop for club operators seeking digital fitness solutions to future-proof their businesses, the acquisition of CFL – previously a standalone subsidiary of Fitness First – follows a partnership agreement between CFL and Wexer in May 2016 to create a B2B mobile fitness app for club groups: Wexer Mobile. The app has already been introduced by leading brands such as Fitness First Asia, which has used it to create digital memberships – a strategy that has allowed it both to enhance its service to existing members, giving 24/7 access to quality-controlled fitness content and expertise, and to grow revenue by reaching out to new audiences and new markets. The acquisition of CFL will now enable Wexer to take sole control of the Wexer Mobile app, fully integrating it into its digital fitness solution. Contact Ryan Hogan of Wexer on 0402 161 134, E:ryan.hogan@wexer.com, www.wexervirtual.com

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018  

Australasian Leisure Management is the only magazine for business owners and decision makers in the Australasian leisure industry. Published...

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 125 2018  

Australasian Leisure Management is the only magazine for business owners and decision makers in the Australasian leisure industry. Published...