Not to make sport of the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, but this is the ideal place if you're into sport, sport and more sport. And it's not just for you. This glorified leisure centre appears to cater for people of all age groups, including the two genders.
I say two, because I once had to complete a survey during a swimming lesson, and one of the questions was, "Please tick one – Male, Female, Other." Lacking the discernment back then, I didn't realise that "Other" might have actually referred to eunuchs (pronounced "Yoo-nicks", for they're unique – not ee-nutch). As a silly joke, I checked "Other". Upon reflection, there was an element of truth in that because I wasn't attracted to the opposite gender at the time. You know, the old "girl's germs, no returns" type of schoolyard behaviour coming into play.
Nostalgia aside, one of the first things that would probably enter your mind as you step into the indoor swimming area is just how much the place resembles an Olympic swimming venue, where the world's best athletes tough it out for the gold medal. But if you can't be bothered, settle for silver or bronze. Even better, who says you can't finish up lucky last?
It doesn't matter if your prowess is far from that of an Olympic champion, at least you could pretend to experience the glory of diving into the competition pool, imagining that the whole world is watching in addition to the cheering spectators. Once you've had a deluded ego fix, simply jump into the pool and swim your way – or doggy paddle yourself – to the end. And don't forget to return to the start again. The pools here are used for amateur competitions at certain times throughout the year, and this is a brilliant starting point for aspiring Olympic swimmers.
You might assume that every lane of every swimming pool is open all the time. Not at this sporting facility. Please check here for the latest information. Maybe the Ian Thorpe wannabes have claimed those parts of the pools for their training at certain times.
Now, it must be said, for this dirty practice occurs more often than you dare to think. There is a saying, which is also a Facebook Group, "We don't swim in your toilet, so don't pee in our pool." It may be more convenient to remain in the nice warm pool instead of exposing yourself to the cold when making a bathroom visit, right? Wrong. You must visit the bathroom no matter what, and here's why.
I'm not sure if it's a rumour or a fact (and quite frankly I'm not about to find out) but my friend once told me years ago that a lot of leisure centres place a special, invisible, colourless and odourless dye in the swimming water. This dye – that the leisure centre won't ever tell you about – can ruin your life. It is designed to emit a fierce purple or bloody scarlet colour should you dare to "let one off." Those were my friend's exact words, hence the need for quotation marks. I want to spare you such untold humiliation. The point is, you don't know whether it's present at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre.
My advice is to save it for the post-swimming shower, but then again that's not the best idea because in some leisure centres I've been to, the shower is the size of a room and is shared with about ten other men. So you don't want to pee them off, but then again you'd get the whole shower room to yourself if you did.
Please don't resort to a lesser evil, like spitting in the pool from the balcony for instance. That got a certain someone I used to know banned from the end of term waterslide party back in primary school. As an adult, you could be fined. And if you're a humanoid, try to secrete your orange goo elsewhere – not on the old women in the therapeutic spa baths, lest they mistake it for some sort of anti-aging supplement. Depending on your physiology, you could be more vein than them.
Speaking of therapeutic spa baths, the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre comes with a number of hydrotherapy pools, or tubs, depending on which term you are more familiar with.
The practice of hydrotherapy dates back to the time of the ancients, although that probably wasn't the term that the ancient peoples used. These people, living in a different time and place, also incorporated the use of special oils. That doesn't apply at this leisure centre. Regardless of hydrotherapy or whatever else it was (or is) called, you can literally soak up the benefits.
A lot of individuals with back issues, arthritic conditions and various forms of swelling – just to name a few – have been known to enter the hydrotherapy pool for sessions of alleviation of symptoms and possible treatment. Please don't mistake the preceding statement for medical advice; it isn't. If you're looking to join them, please do not hesitate to consult your health care professional about whether this treatment option is appropriate for you.
The Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre is also conducive to team building and other corporate events and functions. Considering its Albert Park location, this can be very convenient for business people working nearby, or even based at Melbourne's CBD.
Furthermore, just like Melton Waves, this leisure centre comes with a wave pool, which can help you beat the winter cold you'd otherwise experience on the beach.
Finally, there's so much more on offer in terms of education, parties and fitness at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre that you'll need to take time to visit their website. A wonderful start would be to find out the admission prices, which can be found here.