Behind the scenes at Atlantis

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The ink on the last exam papers has dried, campervans and caravans characterise our roads and the sun is shining (some of the time) – summer is here!

Summer makes for busy days at Atlantis and we love it. The thrum and bustle of a centre full of families enjoying their hard won holiday time is a joy to work in each day. Here’s a selection of highlights that we’ve been busy with.

Scuba: our new booking system

Most of you will have now come across our redeveloped booking management system and are hopefully getting to grips with the new arrangement.

This has been one of the biggest projects we’ve undertaken in the past year and we are thoroughly enjoying what it now allows us to do. Introducing a computerised bookings management system that is fully integrated with online access means we’re able to have much better control and be able to respond to customers’ needs much more easily and diligently.

The biggest change, however, is what this all means for you. The new system allows customers to book and pay for activities, classes and memberships online, via the app and in person via one of our fast scanners in the centre.

Scuba did not happen overnight, however. We are so grateful to our staff who have dedicated time far above and beyond the norm to attend training and workshops to make sure the system was designed and built according to Atlantis’s needs. Thank you to all of you for your commitment and enthusiasm.

Cafe Atlantis: welcome the MacDonalds!

You may have noticed change afoot in the cafe this past wee while. We’re delighted to have Beth and Iain MacDonald settling in after they took over the management of Cafe Atlantis at the start of April.

Beth and Iain have made a fantastic impression with a completely new tasty menu, freshly prepared hearty food and a freshen up of the cafe space itself with new chairs and menu boards. There are different things on offer each day so drop by and sample the new flavours.


At Atlantis we try to ensure we have something for everyone, that all walks and ages feel welcome and supported in whatever brings them to the centre.

As part of this, the past couple of months have seen us working to develop a new service that we’ve called StayActive. StayActive is designed to offer continued support to Healthy Options clients who come to the end of their three-month programmes.

We noticed a need for a service and team to make sure all the good progress continues after leaving Healthy Options. Since introducing StayActive in May, we’ve welcomed over 60 new customers and we’re loving learning together to make sure we can offer the best support and activities possible.

Our new StayActive team is headed up by Julie Didcock and supported by Donna Moore and Kirsty Summers. They all look forward to helping our customers stay on track with their fitness and personal goals.

Staff news

Life continues to be very busy indeed for all the staff. Development and training continue to add extra experience and skills over and above the day-to-day.  We’re delighted to have two of our duty managers currently undertaking training to upskill to become RLSS trainer assessors. This will be a great addition to the team, with everyone feeling the benefit from this increased knowledge and experience.

The gymnastics team are full steam ahead too as we upskill with two staff to Level 1 and one to Level 2. This will be of significant benefit to the more than 70 young people attending the Atlantis Gymnastics School each week.

Five of our leisure attendant team have just completed a six-week leadership course with the Social Enterprise Academy as part of our ongoing development of young people.

West Highland Tennis Week

Our very own Wimbledon had another fantastic week and a half of competition earlier this month, with many players joining us from all over Scotland and England. This was the 49th year of the tournament and we were delighted to welcome a party from the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in Texas as part of the celebrations.

Looking ahead to the 50th anniversary next year, we’re again struck by the brilliant positive impact a small town on the West Coast of Scotland makes on a global stage. Why not get involved? The team at Oban Tennis and Squash Club would love to meet you.

Car park safety

For some time now, we’ve been very conscious of the hazardous walk from the rear car park down the slope to the centre and have been keen to do something about it.  We’re so grateful to D&K Lafferty who have created a wonderful new pavement for us. Lafferty continue to be a fantastic support to the centre and it was great to work with them on another project here – thanks as ever to Paddy and Co.


We won’t apologise for continually saying how pleased we are to see equipment become worn and in need of repair – this means it is being used and helping keep our town healthy and fit. We’ve been working hard to repair a number of pieces of equipment, so it’s great to have these back in service. These join new pieces we’ve added to continue to improve your gym experience. Come and check it out.

Summer Sensations

Summer at Atlantis means Summer Sensations and it’s nearly time for this year’s edition of the annual madness.

Summer Sensations is an event we introduced several years ago designed to help P7s with their transition to secondary school. A partnership team lead a wide range of activities and fun to help the new school year group get to know one another ahead of starting the new term later in the month. This is a fantastically helpful event, particularly for those young folk who might be joining the high school from rural and outlying areas, where the P7 year group is often in single figures.

Board changes

We’ve been thoroughly enjoying having Lorna Macleod and David Lane join the board as new volunteer directors. They’ve already made a fantastic contribution with lots of fresh ideas and enthusiasm, so it’s great to have them with us. Lorna and David replace Karen and Dave, who both stood down earlier in the year with more than 30 years of combined service.

Our board is a volunteer group, receiving no payment or benefit in return for what is a very demanding role that asks each director for a lot of their time and energy. This group works behind the scenes, keeping up to date with every aspect of the business and we’re grateful for their continued hard work.