The new manager of Dannevirke's AMP Wai Splash Pool complex has an impressive history, including playing netball for the Waikato Magic.
But Philamena Beale is a Dannevirke girl, it's her old stomping ground, and she's thrilled to be part of the team taking our Wai Splash Pool complex forward.
After attending boarding school in Napier, Beale studied in Palmerston North and Hamilton where she worked for the local council for 13 years in several roles, including gym manager, operations manager of a swimming complex and a team leader, as well as working in the early childhood sector.
"This has all given me the background to work at AMP Wai Splash. I know the pool environment well," she said.
"My family were attracted back to Dannevirke three years ago. We wanted to come home when our four kids were still little and in primary school."
Before she took over the manager's role at the pool complex Beale had a role working with youth.
"I also was a swimming instructor here until four months ago," she said.
"I'm loving the management role because the new Tararua Aquatic Centre board are willing, able and keen and wanting the best for the pool complex and our community. I once had a role working with youth and keeping them out of mischief, now it's about keeping them active, busy and entertained."
Beale is also involved with Dannevirke netball and is working with the PHO, iwi and our elderly community, getting them active.
"My focus is to get into schools and the community networking," she said.
"We've a big year ahead, lifting standards and working with our district council and others to develop this complex, whether it links to a sports stadium or a skatepark, it's just a matter of money."
Beale said she's keen to take a fresh, enthusiastic approach to drive the pool complex forward.
"I'm inspired by our board's enthusiasm and I'm very proud of Annette Lilo [assistant manager], for coping with the challenges and holding her team together during a mucky time," she said.
"My son was in this year's Ross Shield team and I've seen how this community gets behind a team, now I'm hoping they'll get behind our pool complex."
Used to working with between 40 and 100 staff in her previous roles, Beale has 10 lifeguards and six learn-to-swim instructors at AMP Wai Splash.
"One thing we want to find out more about are the advertising signs around the main pool," she said.
"Are these people still supporters of the facility and what can we do for them. We also need to get more financial support from our community."