The Waitaki Community Recreation Centre has a new manager, but she’s no stranger to the facility.
Last month, Diane Talanoa took over the management position from Louise Fangupo, who has left to focus on motherhood, as well as her own business Thrive – Fitness, Nutrition and Wellbeing with Phillipa Masoe.
After working at CCS Disability for 25 years, in evolving roles including management, the opportunity arose for Mrs Talanoa to take over at the rec centre, where she has been involved for a long time, as an instructor for at least 10 years.
“It’s something I am passionate about, I’ve been involved in the community, in community sport and physical activity for years – through coaching, right through to running the touch competition,” she said.
“I’ve played a number of sports so I’ve got all of that background, I’m not a proficient athlete, I just like to try hard at lots of things.”
It’s also a passion for helping people discover what they are truly capable of that attracted her to the role.
“When you see people discover that coming to a gym is an okay thing, and this is a friendly place where there are people of all sorts of shapes and sizes, you see them just start to grow that sense of self esteem and a sense of belonging and I just find that really exciting,” she said.
Like managers who have gone before her, she’s hoping to raise the profile of the Rec Centre in the North Otago community.
“I’m on a mission to get as much exposure as possible and for the rec centre to be as much involved in the community as we can,” she said.
She said it was great to see so many community sport groups use the facilities on a regular basis, such as basketball, indoor soccer and taekwondo.
“When Waitaki Girls’ High School decorate it for their formal, it’s not a gym it’s this amazing venue and I just think there are all sorts of different functions that could be held here,” she said.
“I just want to keep promoting it, saying ‘hey we are here, it’s an affordable community facility and services that we want to make as available as possible’.”
She said it was great for the rec centre to be involved in the Colour Run last month, and hoped to be involved in even more community events in the future.
“I’m really excited about my new role,” she said.
For regular updates on what’s happening at the Rec Centre, check out their Facebook Page or website www.sportsground.co.nz/waitakicrc
By Rebecca Ryan