About the Y

YMCA South Australia (“the Y”) is proud to partner with Scotch College to provide the highest quality services and programming at the new, state-of-the-art Purruna Spencer Newton Centre (Purruna), together with the wider college community.

The YMCA is the leading provider of community recreation in South Australia, operating 12 facilities across South Australia including some of the biggest and best centres such as the St Clair Recreation Centre, The Parks Recreation and Sports Centre, Marion Leisure & Fitness Centre, and the Fleurieu Aquatic Centre.

Over the last decade the Y has grown significantly and developed the reputation as being the highest quality recreation and aquatics facility management option in South Australia. It is the only such provider headquartered in the state and the only community-based not-for-profit. YMCA South Australia also manages 33 Outside School Hours Care centres (including Scotch College OSHC), two Early Learning Centres, the Youth Parliament program, and a wide range of other community strengthening programs across the State.

Nationally, the Y is the largest community recreation manager in the country, welcoming more than 5.5 million sport and recreation participations each year, across 178 facilities. Globally, the Y has operated for 177 years and is the world’s largest youth and community wellbeing organisation - one that created many of the activities that provide a foundation for centres such as Purruna such as basketball, volleyball, group fitness, and swimming lessons, amongst many others.

Globally the YMCA is famous as a safe and welcoming place for all, especially for young people. In Australia, the Y has a rigorous national safeguarding program with regular independent audits by the Australian Childhood Foundation.

The Y is authentically aligned with Scotch College, not only in terms of what we do, but also why we do it. The alignment of the values of our brands include:

Purpose – growth and development of young people, physical, mental and social wellbeing

Heritage – our place in the history and social fabric of South Australia including length and breadth of service and distinguished alumni

Model – non-profit social enterprise led and governed by accomplished South Australians

Settings – Schools, Recreation Centres, sporting venues, camping and outdoor education

Sports – a multi-sport philosophy including basketball, volleyball, softball, aquatics and group fitness

Trust – leadership and standing across our sectors creating strong confidence and unity

Our partnership synergies have great potential for positive outcomes, at both Purruna and across the wider school community. The Y has expertise in many areas intrinsic to the education sector including the provision of industry-leading OSHC and Early Learning services, facilitation of engaging camp programs and activities, promotion of sporting excellence, and targeted training programs aimed at providing employment opportunities for current and former students.

We are committed to working together at all levels to deliver programs in collaboration with Scotch College. The Y will tailor programs and services to the needs of the school and the local community with the aim of growing participation within, and beyond, the Scotch College community.

The YMCA’s leadership team at Purruna is under the guidance of experienced facility manager Simon Watkins, an elite national swimming coach who has been a Swim Australia Board member for the past six years. Simon has wide exposure within the sports industry including operations management, contract management and staff training.

An accomplished manager, coach and coach-educator, Simon has placed swimmers onto international teams since 2003 and has coached medallists at all levels, while managing Centres and facilities, both in the education sector and privately. He recently returned from giving a keynote speech at the SWIMCON International Conference on Doha. One of his key aims at Scotch is to identify and promote emerging young talent.

In addition to hosting student and staff programming, the state-of-art facilities offer community access to a stunning aquatics space for swimming lessons, lap swimming, or recreational swimming outside of school hours. Aligned with Scotch’s vision for the space, the YMCA offers a suite of boutique style fitness classes including reformer Pilates, mat Pilates, yoga and aquafit. The Y also oversees the two basketball courts outside of school hours, currently booked by various community based sporting groups.

The Wellness/Pilates Studio, is overseen by experienced expert Angie Ashri, while Swimming Lessons manager Petra Majchrak (a recent Life Saving SA Pool Employee of the Year) looks after the aquatics programs.

As an employer-of-choice, the Y has a superior ability to attract and retain staff, the majority of whom prefer to work for a purpose-driven and values-based organisation. The YMCA is also a significant employer of young people in South Australia, with around 930 staff, 60% of which are under 30. Currently, 8 students and old collegians have joined the passionate and committed Y team demonstrating the strong partnership and pathways from school to employment.

Our partnership is about a bigger concept of developing young people and seamlessly connecting education with the physical, mental and social wellbeing of students and the community. It draws upon both the deep heritage and values of Scotch and the YMCA, new technology, social impact modelling and program innovations.

The YMCA’s mission centres on the value and potential of young people and is our core reason for being. The partnership with Scotch College and its wider community is authentically aligned to that shared purpose.