Client: Basingstoke Aquadrome , Basingstoke
Hippo Leisure worked in collaboration with Cresta Leisure to transform the spectator area at Basingstoke Aquadrome into an ‘Under the Sea Splash and Play Zone’, aimed at increasing the fun appeal for toddlers and young children. The new children’s pool constructed by Cresta Leisure has been furnished by Hippo Leisure with a range of eye-catching, interactive water play features. The features are designed to encourage children to learn through play and increase their water confidence as they explore and discover their aquatic environment.
The interactive waterball centre piece features a variety of water jets and is the first ever waterball to include internal lights which constantly change colour and can be seen
through round windows that have an underwater fishy theme. The lights are powered by a low voltage supply. The waterball has a variety of low level water features which are popular with toddlers and less water confident children. These include fill ‘n’ spill buckets, interactive hand wheels and cannon jets. One of the cannon jets feeds two interactive water channels which feature paddles, allowing children to control the water flow through them and let it cascade back into the pool.
The waterball is connected to the pool hall wall via a span pipe which houses four tipping buckets which create exciting, anticipatory play as they tip in a random
sequence and splash children playing underneath them. Two waterwheels spray children with water as they constantly spin around. The waterball also has a tipping bucket arm, a shark shower arm and a waterwheel arm which provide extra excitement! Finally, a pelican perched on one of the arms squirts water from its beak into the pool.
A variety of fish water squirts create a bright, fun and vibrant visual impact while gently squirting water into the pool. The fish are part of a handrail on the open side of the new pool.
Finally, a set of interactive wall panels make up the wall of the water play area. The panels are themed with a bright underwater design and have a selection of moving parts and mirrors which provide tactile, visuals and auditory stimulation. The panels incorporate two sensors and two speakers. When a child presses the sensor, they are given a randomly selected instruction from the speaker to find objects on the panels. The sensors and speakers work independently to allow multiple instructions to be given at the same time, enabling several children to play with the panels together. The panels are perfect for encouraging water confidence.
Hazel Tilbury, Chair of the Basingstoke and Deane Community Leisure Trust told The Basingstoke Gazette: “The Trust is proud of its new investments with the new ‘Under the Sea Splash and Play’. This new water feature is designed to enable younger children to gain confidence in the water whilst enjoying its stimulating and eye-catching design that’s educational, interactive and most importantly, fun. Along with the gym improvements at the Aquadrome we hope visitors and members enjoy using these new facilities”.
Cllr Simon Bound, Cabinet member for communities and community safety told The Basingstoke Gazette: “We hope that the ongoing improvements we are making will encourage more families and individuals to make the most of these fantastic local leisure facilities. This is a great example of the council’s commitments to partnership working to improve leisure opportunities across the borough”.