Warrnambool swimmers want extended swimming season

Pool plea: Warrnambool outdoor Olympic pool users are uniting to have the season extended by eight weeks. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Pool plea: Warrnambool outdoor Olympic pool users are uniting to have the season extended by eight weeks. Picture: Rob Gunstone

A push to extend Warrnambool’s outdoor pool season has begun with a splash.

Swimmers from a range of user groups have pooled their resources in an effort to increase the pool season by eight weeks for the next five years.

On Wednesday the group of eight met with a representative from the Warrnambool City Council to outline their funding request.

The group is asking the council for $10,000 of the total $25,000 required to open the pool for the extended amount of time to cover running and staffing costs.

The outdoor pool user group consists of members of the Warrnambool Swimming Club, Masters Swimming Club, Ocean Swimmers and private individuals.

Warrnambool Swimming Club president Kellie Windahl is joining the push for extra time.

“Ideally the season would begin four weeks earlier than it currently is and finish four weeks later,” she said. “This means the pool would open mid-October and close mid-April.”

Warrnambool Swimming Club coach Jayson Lamb said council support was necessary for swimmers to improve performance at interstate competitions.

“We understand it’s costly but we want the council to come to the party with support,” he said.

“At the moment competitors are at a disadvantage when this pool closes weeks before national championships and other clubs continue to train for weeks in a 50-metre pool.”

Darren Smith, who uses the pool regularly outside work hours, said overcrowding of the indoor pool was turning fitness enthusiasts away from the centre.

“Swimming for me is part of my rehabilitation,” he said. “But when there are three lanes used for lessons, three for squad swimmers, one for kids to play in and only one left for laps, it’s a case of overcrowding.”

The group is inviting businesses to purchase an engraved brick at AquaZone’s entry or a sign on the boundary fence of the outdoor pool. Private individuals can make a donation by contacting the WSC.