Power to the people: The community campaign to keep Sawtell’s pool open

Sawtell community’s Pool Power photo shoot – locals turn up to share support for their pool staying open through winter months. Photo: Leigh Jensen.

 

SAWTELL pool will stay open throughout May with reduced opening hours; and if numbers are good, possibly continuing through June.

Councillor Paul Amos told News Of The Area, “The tight knit community of Sawtell Pool Users put forward a compelling case for extending the pool season and councillors applied some flexibility to support this.”

This is a coup for the community who showed their passion for the pool’s opening hours by writing to, and lobbying councillors and signing petitions.

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The May schedule encompasses: swim squads, aquarobics and mums and bubs, opening 6am to midday on weekdays.

This is a unique pool with a colourful history, and numerous swim stars having learned to swim here.

Pool users represent a wide-ranging demographic, as seen on this week’s front cover shot, which features one of the pools youngest users in Amber Woods (5) sharing the pool with one of the oldest, Jan Quant (86), as well as Richie Goddard, a NSW Masters Champion Swimmer who swims rain, hail or shine and Sawtellian of the Year 2021, Mick Migavigan.

John Ives from the Special Olympics team – that’s him doing the backflip splash in the photo.

Lorraine Orchard, a swimmer/supporter said, “Please keep the pool open, it’s so good for our health and wellbeing.”

Judith Wilks said, “This would be a terrific health and well-being boost to the local community, to be able to continue their individual exercise programs, aqua therapy and fitness classes, and for swimming lessons and squads to be able to continue through the winter months.”

Christine Gardiner who loves her Aquafit classes, favours the pool’s convenience to home and work.

Using the pool for therapy exercises, Eliana Jones said winter opening is awesome, “Otherwise my health will go downhill.”

Priscilla Piper uses the pool for aqua aerobics and laps.

Mayor Denise Knight told News Of The Area, “The users and community approached me via email and phone with the request to keep the pool open for an extra month.

“I spoke to the staff to see if this was achievable and affordable, so for me to be able to provide this was a no-brainer for the Sawtell community.”

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

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