Behind the scenes at Atlantis

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A wander down Dalriach Road these past weeks has meant kicking through the first layers of the annual carpet of fallen leaves as browns and reds complete their takeover of the greenery.

Draw near to Atlantis Leisure and you’ll also catch autumn in the faint smell of Beth’s homemade soups wafting invitingly through the air from the café. Come on in and see what else has been cooking at the centre.

Staff news

There are some new faces in our staff team and a very warm welcome to the latest additions to the Atlantis family: Kenny Black, Erin O’Rourke, Lucy Croarkin, Robert MacLachlan and Ella MacKechnie. It’s great to have you all! We’re also delighted to welcome Marianne Gordan to Atlantis – Marianne is a Level 2 swimming teacher and will be working with us as we continue to grow and develop Oban Swim School and is also booked to a course to become an aqua aerobics instructor.

It’s all change in the fitness team as we celebrate Martin Rennie passing his Body Pump instructor course. Martin joins the rest of the Les Mills team as they support him becoming a fully-fledged instructor in the next month or so.

Martin helps fill the gap Iona Paterson leaves as she tackles her next challenge in Masters study at Heriot-Watt University. And we’re delighted to welcome Elise Cleaver back as she offers Pilates classes once again.

Goodbyes are never easy but they’re made a little better when they’re temporary. We’re really proud of Stewart Twort for securing an apprenticeship at Glensanda so we’ll be saying cheerio as he leaves Atlantis. However, Stewart has offered to stay on in a voluntary capacity, continuing to help with gymnastics and key youth events. All the very best for what’s next Stewart.

PWTAG

PWTAG stands for Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group and they’re the guys who keep us all safe in clean water as we dive into the pool. Kyle and Iwan are just back from a seminar in Perth that PWTAG hosted.

These events are important for rural centres like ours as they strengthen industry bonds and relationships with other providers. It’s a great opportunity to share wisdom and catch up but also to ensure our lifeguarding and safety practice are the most up to date they can be.

For Atlantis, however, the PWTAG events carry a deeper significance – we’re on track to becoming the first recipients in Scotland of the PWTAG Pool Mark. The Pool Mark certification is an assurance that the pool meets healthy operational standards. It’s a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the maintenance team.

Centre life

Last month saw the sports hall curtain and tracking replaced. Curtains are a bit more of a logistical undertaking in sports halls than they are in living rooms so this is always quite the operation and great to have completed.

One of the first groups to benefit from the new curtain was the more than 60 competitors who joined us for an event hosted by Oban Badminton Club.  Competitors came from far and wide to compete in an event that was also livestreamed. It’s brilliant to see such a range of sports enjoying strong support and we’d like to thank Andy and the team at BID4Oban who so generously supported this undertaking. Such was the success of the event that the badminton club are investigating making next year’s span a full weekend.

Community sponsorship is also enabling our swimmers to grow and develop. CalMac sponsored a group from Islay to come over to Oban as the two teams came together for a friendly gala. More than 50 competitors benefited from this sponsorship but the impact goes further. Rural communities like ours depend on opportunities to come together, strengthening relationships that can last long after the swimming caps and goggles are hung up. Thanks to CalMac as they continue to support sports and community development.

Café Atlantis

The aroma of Beth’s hearty cooking has been filling the café and making all staff wish lunchtime would hurry up. It’s fantastic to have her and Iain with us. This month saw the signing of a new three-year management agreement between Atlantis and the Macdonalds, securing a partnership that will allow us to develop their ideas for the café. We’re delighted to have Beth and Iain with us. Come try out the new menu and taste for yourself.