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Community Spotlight: Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre

Familiar Community Faces

The Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre (HALC) is managed by the YMCA and has an array of facilities on offer; a very roomy gym filled with a range of equipment, four exercise studios, heated 50m outdoor pool, warm water 20m indoor pool, childcare, a café and health services like naturopathy, sports medicine, hydrotherapy, nutritionalists and more. Here is where Aydn Finlay works as a Recreation Officer, having the chance to work in many different aspects of HALC from front desk, café, life guard, administration and social media. Originally from Adelaide, moving to Melbourne in 2011, Aydn had a few different jobs before finally falling into his current role at HALC. A fan of traveling, he worked at a backpacker's hostel in Brisbane for five years followed by a bike shop and even a cheese restaurant. Despite the range of jobs he has always been interested in sport and fitness.

Aydn is active in his everyday life, often biking to work from St. Kilda and running regularly, he is also organising the Boroondara Leisure and Aquatics Facilities running team for the Melbourne Marathon this year.

Outside of his daily fitness activities, he has visited and ridden parts of the Tour de France route twice and enjoys golfing. Although he has only been working in Glenferrie Hawthorn for nine months Aydn is enjoying the “warm, vibrant and family oriented” community and Aydn can see how engaged the community is in sport and activity. The Glenferrie community "is like a family, people tend to know each other". Despite having nearly 4,000 members come through the door, he frequently sees familiar faces. Members range from families, retirees, university students and young professionals. The busiest times tend to be in the morning before 8am as parents often drop their children at the childcare or evenings before dinnertime and when people are on their way home from work. Aydn has observed the rich history in Glenferrie Hawthorn, especially when it comes to the Glenferrie Oval, He believes the oval could be better utilised, potentially holding more local events centred around fitness and activity. Enjoying all the different parts of his job, especially having a chance to be creative with social media posts and videos, Aydn is happy and welcoming to all who come through the HALC doors.

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