YMCA (The Y) Leisure Centres

August 28, 2023

Commonly known as YMCA, the Y is the national leader in facility management for aquatics and leisure in Australia. With a commitment to delivering high-quality health and fitness programs, the Y ensures that every member of the local community is catered for. Their legacy in managing recreation facilities for local government and others spans three decades, making them one of Australia’s most seasoned operators of aquatic and leisure facilities.


In the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, communities worldwide grappled with unforeseen challenges. For The Y, with its sprawling network of centres, the pandemic posed unique hurdles. The intricate task of managing bookings during such times became a paramount concern for meeting health restrictions and safety measures.

Online bookings allowed swimming lanes to reopen and operate at maximum capacity
A first for swimming pools, swimming lane bookings were required to ensure capacity restrictions are enforced while maximising participation.

The Challenge

  • Enabling centres to reopen safely after strict lockdown and the community to exercise and begin to live again
  • Rapidly deploy a dynamic solution to navigate the constantly shifting landscape of restrictions
  • Cater to the distinct needs of 95 individual centres with different configurations and leisure options under the Y’s umbrella
  • Seamlessly manage an overwhelming volume of bookings during peak times
  • Provide a user-friendly booking solution suitable for all ages, ensuring effortless navigation even for those less tech-savvy


Recognising the urgency of the situation, Nabooki rolled out a bespoke booking system and Administration Suite, configured for the requirements of the Y. This solution was more than just a booking tool, its capabilities encompassed:

Swift Implementation: The agility of the deployment was key, enabling the Y centres to spring back into action, albeit in a limited capacity, during the pandemic’s restrictions.

High-Load Resilience: Designed to withstand the pressures of peak demand, the system ensured uninterrupted operations even during high online traffic periods.

Fairness in Allocating Limited Capacity on a Daily Basis: A testament to its sophistication, the solution guaranteed equitable booking allocations, ensuring community members enjoyed equal access to the Y’s limited offerings.

User-Friendly Administration: The intuitive design of Nabooki’s systems made it a breeze for centre staff to introduce new schedules and services.

Concierge Onboarding & Training: Nabooki’s commitment shone through with a dedicated onboarding process, ensuring the Y’s staff felt confident and adept with the new system.

YMCA online booking functionality by Nabooki
Nabooki easily integrated onto the existing leisure centre website.


As the pandemic presented unparalleled obstacles, our joint efforts with the Y proved pivotal, enabling leisure centres to spring back into action and welcome the community once again. This was not merely about unlocking doors; it signified the resurgence of community spirit, enabling individuals to re-engage in invigorating physical activities. Nabooki’s solution fortified the Y centres, allowing:

Swift Response: From the moment the contract was inked, it took a mere 3 weeks for doors to swing open again, showcasing our agility and commitment.

Unprecedented Demand: Starting from a complete halt during the shutdown, the Y witnessed an astounding revival. There were over 25,000 confirmed bookings in the first three weeks and around 500,000 in the first 6 months of being open.

Adhere to Limited Capacities: With capacity restrictions in place, the system effectively managed the limited capacities in multiple areas of the centres, ensuring safety without compromising on accessibility.

Manage Swimming Lane Bookings: A first for the centres, the Y could efficiently manage bookings for swimming lanes, catering to a surge in demand. With tailored configurations for each centre, the booking functionality allowed for capacities to be applied to individual swimming lanes, catering for the various lane swimming speeds and overall venue capacity.

Implement Contact Tracing: Nabooki’s system seamlessly integrated effective contact tracing procedures, enhancing safety for both staff and visitors. By fast-tracking the development of a customer check-in functionality and meticulously recording all customer details and visit times, Nabooki ensured that authorities could conduct contact tracing for all venue visitors with ease and precision.

Through this synergistic partnership, the Y was able to  weather the pandemic’s challenges and transform them into new avenues of opportunity, reinforcing the Y as a luminary of health and community engagement during even the most challenging times.

Online booking functionality for YMCA Leisure Centres.
Fitness class bookings are still as popular today.


The collaboration between the YMCA’s group of recreation centres and Nabooki during this challenging period underscores the essence of adaptability and forward-thinking, especially in the face of adversity. By harnessing a tailored solution, the Y adeptly navigated the pandemic’s maze, ensuring their services remained a beacon of hope, accessibility and efficiency for their local communities.

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