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Wilsons Aquatic Centre finally opens at new community centre

TRURO – Sarah Thornham’s children couldn’t hide their excitement to take a dip in Colchester’s newest aquatics centre, which finally opened Monday.

About 150 people jumped at the chance to use the new Wilsons Aquatic Centre during its first open swim Monday at Rath Eastlink Community Centre. The centre offered $2 swims throughout the day, with the first running from 10 a.m. to noon. Wilsons Aquatic Centre is the final section to open at RECC, which was plagued by numerous delays in construction.

About 150 people, young and old, enjoyed the first open session of swimming at Wilsons Aquatic Centre in the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

“It was my daughter’s idea to come (Monday),” said Thornham, of Truro, while keeping an eye on her 11-year-old daughter, Abby, and her five-year-old son. “They were both excited. We would see the construction going on and they were both waiting anxiously for it to open.”

Abby learned about the opening day of the aquatic centre, which features a 23-metre leisure pool and 25-metre competitive pool, at Truro Elementary School where she’s a student.

“They were invited for an inaugural swim Thursday night, so she wanted to come again (Monday),” the mother said.

“It’s a gorgeous facility.”

Since March 2, when Community Credit Union Arena opened, Thornham and the family have been visiting the facility, mainly to take advantage of its walking track.

“The track is really great, and I love the nice, bright pool area. I know it had been a long time in the works and we had been looking forward to it opening.”

After going down the waterslide for her third time, Abby said it was one of her favourite things.

“And I liked coming here Thursday with my school – it was really cool,” she said.

Joining her on the pool deck were four friends – Olivia Grund of Truro, Amieliea McLeod of North River, Halifax’s Hannah Huntley, and Truro’s Eliana Schrock.

“I love it here,” said 11-year-old Grund. “I really like the high dive. It’s fun.”

McLeod also enjoyed the high dive, while Schrock’s favourite aspect was the slide.

“I like that it’s warm,” said Huntley, 11. “A lot of the pools that I go to are cold.”

Wanting to spend some family time together, Teri Nott spent the morning in the pool with her husband, Matt, and their two children – 13-month-old Lily and six-year-old Alyssa – as well as her sister, Kristin Woodworth.

“I actually really like it,” said Nott. “I like all the extra stuff, like the water features for the kids.”

Along one side of the leisure pool, yellow piping pushed water out into buckets that swayed overhead, which would overturn on those underneath when full enough. Kids were constantly wiping water from their eyes under the buckets, while others played with squirting water from various parts around the leisure pool.

In the competitive pool, there was a steady stream of kids lined up for a chance to jump off the highest diving board.

“We’ll probably be here quite a bit,” said Nott, looking around at the facility. “The kids will be taking swimming lessons here.”

Aquatics manager Suzanna Hicks-McCully said she was pleasantly surprised by how many people were using the facility and expected it to be busier during other sessions later in the day.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

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