For many swimmers, being told you have two 50 m pools....well, it makes your eyes light up.
But with MAC, you are more likely to be restricted to using one of the four 25 m pools, if you're not being stuck in the diving pool, or being excluded all together because there is 'yet another' event on.
The events....oh, these events can last for days, or even weeks......ahhh!
Members and drop-in swimmers would like to be able to use the facility. What is the point of publishing a timetable, if it is subject to constant change, often at short notice!
Is it that the events planned at short notice, or are they already known when the schedule is planned, and are simply not incorporated into the timetable?
And as for notification of these changes:
- are we expected to check the website each before we arrive at MAC for a swim?
- as for the rolling message electronic board above the main pool....well, you have to be in the vacinity of the board to see it, and you have to actually be looking at it when the message is displayed (and if you are swimming front crawl, you might just miss that message ;)
A great deal about MAC is very positive, not least because it is heads above the other public swimming facilities in Manchester in terms of the facilities it has/provides (hence the 4 star rating)....but it just gets so frustrating that there are so many changes to the timetable, and often at short notice.
Public services should be run like businesses.
Sure, public services are not primarily about making money but, just like business, they should be about showing value for money.
It is probably the worst swimming pool ever! The first problem is that the water is too cold during the family swim and the children freeze after a few minutes. The second is problem is that most of the adults swim in the children's area and there is nowhere for the children to swim. And the biggest problem is that people come in their outdoor clothes and go and sit in the small children's pool. When I told the manager Karen she told me that it is their religion to swim in clothes. Shouldn't they have a special swimming suit in this case? There is also an extremely high level of Chlor in the water and it is not safe for children.
Manchester Aquatics Centre (MAC) is located on Oxford Road by the Royal College of Music. The pool was built for the 2002 Commonwealth games, but it was criticised for the amount of seating available (it was very poor for such a major event). This was resolved by the diving pool and the kids pool being converted to seating temporarily. Following the games a slide was installed in the kids pool. The pool is also only an eight lane pool which I was disappointed about as having it as a ten lane pool would have made it an Olympic sized pool.
The complex actually has two 50m swimming pools. One of them is situated below the other and you go downstairs to get to it. This is often used as a warm up/warm down pool during competitions and clubs also use it for training.
Both pools have a boom built into them. This means that the length of them can be changed making a 50m pool into two 25m pools. They also have a moveable floor which means that the pool can be made deeper of shallower. I like this because it means that when one of the teams is training in the main pool it can still be used by others for social/fun reasons.
There is a diving pool that is 25m in length that is used for diving and also water polo (as there is no shallow end - providing no advantage to any teams).
The changing rooms are individual cubicles, there is also group changing rooms but these are mainly used by the swimming clubs and have a code lock on the door.
The centre also has a cafe but the prices are quite expensive in there. There is also a gym which is of average size and the staff in there are very knowledgeable. Alongside the gym membership you can get access to the health suite including sauna, jacuzzi and sunbeds. You can get membership for the pool only, gym only or combined membership.
I always find that the lifeguards at the pool are extremely friendly. More so than lifeguards I have experienced at other pools and they always like to have a chat with you but still manage to keep a watchful eye on everyone.
I find the facilities to be clean and well maintained.
Overall the MAC is a great centre to socialise, keep fit or relax.
Monday to Friday : 06:30 - 22:00
Saturday : 07:00 - 18:00
Sunday : 07:00 - 22:00
If attending at a weekend it may be best to check there is not a competition being held there before you go to avoid disappointment, although these can be fun to watch too!
The Aquatics Centre is located on Oxford Road, close to the University of Manchester.
The complex was build to facilitate the swimming events in the 2002 Commonwealth Games and it is now open to the public who can pay to go swimming, to use the gym, or to attend fitness classes.
The Aquatics Centre is the only complex in the UK with two 50 metre swimming pools as well as separate diving and leisure pools. There is also a large changing facility (which is unisex but does have private areas) and there are seats where you can watch swimming and diving competitions take place.
The gym is quite spacious and you can book in with an adviser to develop a plan that suits you. You can also watch the television while you work out - by plugging your earphones into a television. I particularly like this feature, as it means that I can work out without missing the soaps!
You will find a list of the fitness classes on-line. Personally I have been to aqua-aerobics, which is really fun - there are people of all ages and abilities in the class and the instructor makes it really fun. I found the Body Jam class quite difficult because you need to pick up dance moves quite quickly and I have two left feet. Body Attack was also very hard going - I felt like I was in a military boot camp! However I suggest you try them all out for yourself and find out what works for you!
The centre is open to the public on a 'pay as you go' basis, but memberships are also very reasonable - they start at £25 per month (which is much cheaper than the price you pay in private health clubs) and you can also get a student membership.
I would advise you to call the Aquatics Centre before you attend because occasionally they close the pools to facilitate swimming events and competitions.
The facility is also used by the following clubs and associations:
University Canoe and Sub-Aqua;
CCIS (Male Muslim Swim Club);
Octopush Club (Underwater hockey);
Overall I'd say that this is a world class facility that you can enjoy without paying huge prices. I highly recommend it for anybody that wants to get fit, but doesn't want to spend a fortune in the process.
Monday to Friday 06:30 - 22:00;
Saturday 07:00 - 18:00;
Sunday 07:00 - 22:00.
Adult swimming lessons are very expensive at DOUBLE the price of most other swimming baths. There is NEVER full use of the pools, there is always at least one pool blocked off. It is blocked off all year round, despite any schedule posted on their website. They may boast having Manchester's only 50m pool, but it's pointless if you can't swim in it!!! The problems don't end there: the chlorine levels are usually ABOVE the legal amount, so apart from breaking the law, it could be very dangerous, especially for small children. A huge dissapointment and certainly not all it's hyped up to be - in fact, you'd be better off going to ANY OTHER pool! Best to avoid this pool.
I GO HER WITH LORRETTO COLLEDGEI LOVE IT I LOVE THE POOL IT IS GREATE FOR WHEEL CHAIRS I GO TO MEDLOC RESIRE CENTRE SWIMMING WITH OUR KIDES EYES I LOVE AQATICAS I O AQUA FIT TO MUSIC THERE.
I like going swimming. It is one exercise I enjoy and the pool I swim in is no ordinary pool. It is a pool Iain Thorpe, the Torpedo has swum in. it is the Manchester Aquatics Centre that was built for last years Commonwealth Games in Manchester. However it is more than just an ordinary swimming pool in fact you could say it is a leisure experience as it also has la fun pools with kids slides, a Jacuzzi, full on water flumes, a health suite and gym Where is it? It is on Oxford Road and just south of Manchester City Centre. It is easily accessible by car, bus, train and on foot. The Building. The building is a curved construction with loads of glass. At certain times of the day you can see into the pool. This actually disturbs me, as I do not want people looking in at me in my swimming costume as it probably is not a good sight. Opening Hours. The pool is very flexible with opening hours unless there is a competition on in the main pool. The opening hours are as follows. Monday- Friday 6:30- 22:00 Saturday 7:00 -18:00 Sunday 7:00- 22:00. The Reception Area. The reception area is fairly big with plenty of space for meeting people and has plenty of leaflets on different activities taking place in the centre. It is disturbing that some of the activities are sponsored by Smarties as surely a chocolate company does not give out the right message for keeping fit. The ticket desk is usually well staffed so there is not a long wait for tickets even when the pool is very busy The Main Changing Rooms The main changing rooms are unisex. The first time I visited MAC I found this very strange. As I am used to single sex changing rooms. However this must be useful for families especially a father taking daughters or visa versa. There are also family changing rooms and group changing rooms. The lockers are plentiful. They cost £1 (but you get this back) and come in two sizes. The actu
al changing cubicles are a decent enough size and have good locks (well most of them). One issue I do have with the changing area is the cleanliness of some of the cubicles. Some of them have all sorts of rubbish in them and there are ones I would avoid as I do not want to step in anything dodgy. The Main Pool Area The main pool area is divided into four. There is the diving pool, a deep pool, shallow pool and a fun pool. The deep pool I often roped into lanes for more serious swimmers whilst the shallower pool is more for casual swimmers and kids mucking about. I tend to prefer the lane swimming. I especially like it when swimming speeds are allocated as I am not a very fast swimmer and probably hold up faster people. The lengths of these pools are both 25 metres. The cool thing about these pools re that they have adjustable floors and can be combined into one for competitions. There are facilities for diving hence the diving pool but I have not used the diving boards and could not tell you a lot about them. I have used the diving pool for aqua tone though and it is often used for water polo matches. The fun pool is entitled the Lagoon. It has fake palm tress to give an air of the tropics in Manchester. The main part of the Lagoon is very shallow and has some wave jets and cannons. I like sitting under these and getting massaged by them. There are some little elephant slides for the =kids which I have not tested as I m far too big for them. There are two Jacuzzis but I only have seen one of them working. The one that works is nice but the water is very cold and there are kids mucking around in it. I would advise to use the health suite one as it is far warmer. Water Flumes The water flumes are situated by the lagoon. There are two of them and they are really fun. One is very steep whilst the other is very fast and sort of spiral. The flumes are not suitable for children under ten or anyone under 1.2 metres. If
riding them be very careful and follow the instructions at the top. You could easily hurt yourself if you are not sliding correctly due to them being very high speed. There is one big problem with the flumes. They never seem to be open when I am there. When I first started using the pool in 2001 they seemed to be open in the evening and I would have a slide to break up my serious swimming. The opening times of the flumes in the leaflet I have says they should be open from 16 00 hours on weekdays to 21 00 or 2200 hours. I tend to swim about 19 00 on weekdays but have not seen them open at all recently. I can not comment on Saturdays or Sundays as I?ve never been then. I?m not sure if it is a staffing issue or if they are not used enough during the week to warrant them being open but it would be nice to have a go on them again. The rates for normal swimming are as follows. Adult £2.50 Students £1.50 Juniors £1.50 One of the down sides of the pool for me is what is classified as a student. The pool was built with funding from UMIST, Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University. Students of these universities and the Royal Northern College of Music are the only ones to get a discount. I?m a Salford University student so I have to pay full price as Salford Uni has its own pool although I?ve never used it. There is another way of getting cheaper swimming is through a Manchester Leisure pass. This pass can be obtained in the Manchester city council tax area and gives discounts at off peak times. The problem is you are restricted when you can use it. The hours of usage are as follows 9-12 and 3-5. Thus it is no good for those who work regular hours. The Health Suite I have used the Health Suite twice. It has its own separate changing rooms and showers so no pesky kids there! I'm not sure if there is a limit to how many people can be in there at once but we found it very hard to find a locker to put our st
uff in. The facilities consist of two saunas, a steam room and a Jacuzzi. One sauna is 80 degrees whilst the other one is 100 degrees but I could not tell much difference. I do not mind the saunas but I much prefer the wet heat of the steam room. I love the menthol smell of the steam room: it feels nice and makes it nice and easy to breathe. Finally there is the Jacuzzi which is much much warmer than the one in the general pool area. There are also loungers and newspapers around the health suite so after a nice steam you can relax. I would defiantly recommend an afternoon in here as you also get to use the main swimming pool area if you want. My only complaint about the Health Suite is the hygiene. I was very put off by a horrible dirty toilet. It was yucky. Price £4.20, £3.25 for concessions Aqua Tone Aqua tone classes are ran several times a week either in the diving pool or in the main pool. This class is usually open to all but I have very rarely seen a man do it. Aqua Tone consists of different exercise moves and routines. I prefer doing it as I find the abdominal exercises on ground very hard. The water cushions you and there is added resistance so it is very good exercise. You use different things such as mitts and woggles (long foam things) to help you and also to add more resistance or weight. The classes last around 50 minutes and are to music. I would seriously recommend them as an alternative to straight swimming or aerobics classes. There are classes every day of the week and some are for over 50s only. Aqua tone costs £2.80 normally but there are discounts for students (£2.10) and over 50s (£1.50) Ladies Night Friday night is ladies night. The downstairs pool which is normally used for training purposes is opened for ladies only swimming. There is also access to the gym Gym There is a gym and it contains over 70 pieces of equipment including treadmills, rowers and cross trainers. I do not h
ave any experience of the gym as I am definably not a gym bunny and much prefer the water based activities. The prices for the gym are as follows £4.10 for a session and £2.80 for a concession. You need to have an induction which costs £10.00 before using the gym The Studio. Various exercise classes are taught in the studio. I have not been but I am tempted to go to one. They offer aerobike (might try that one), step and funky step, Hi Lo aerobics and funky step (sounds painful) and kick aerobics. These are cardio workouts. They also have combo workouts including circuits/rise and shine, boxacircuits, and body express. Conditioning and shaping exercises include body pump, legs, tums and bums (the one I need) and Swiss Ball (sounds fun). Finally for those who want peace of mind or have hippy tendencies there are mind and body classes including body balance, Pilates, dynamic posture (ouch) and core conditioning (If I test any of these I will update the review). Interestingly, there is also belly-dencing. A class costs £3.10 Membership There are many deals to make it cheaper for the dedicated fitness fanatic. An all inclusive membership costs £35.00 per month or £360.00 annually). For those swimmers amongst you, there is the premier swim membership. This costs £22.00 per month or £220. 00 per year. There is also an early riser rate. This is £54.75 for three months or £170.00 for a year. After your swim/workout I am not too keen on the showers. There are not enough of them and there are three which face the street and I am sure anyone who was walking past could see you. There are plentiful hairdryers but they cost 20 pence a go. There is a café and vending machines. I am trying to be saintly so usually avoid these. I think the café sells snacks and light meals along with coffee and drinks Manchester Aquatics Centre is more than just a swimming pool. I would recommend a visit. The pool is good for ev
eryone from serious swimmers to those who just want a splash around. However it could do with more showers, a warmer jacuzzi, and there are issues with hygiene and cleanliness. It is also a shame that only selected students get cheap entry.