Skip to main content

Swimmers cross fingers and toes for indoor pool

Swimmers cross fingers and toes for indoor pool
02 August

Swimmers from Blue Lake Y and Mount Gambier Swimming Clubs at the Portland aquatic facility. Photo courtesy of Renae Lowe.
Local swimmers - Photo courtesy Renae Lowe
Swimmers from Blue Lake Y and Mount Gambier Swimming Clubs at the Portland aquatic facility. Photo courtesy of Renae Lowe.

Blue Lake Y and Mount Gambier Swimming Clubs returned from Portland this week more enthusiastic than ever about the proposed Mount Gambier Regional Sport and Recreation Centre after participating in highly ranked swimming clinics at the Portland Leisure and Aquatic Centre with former Swimming Australia head coach Leigh Nugent.

Forty swimmers took part in the clinics with a focus on refining all aspects of stroke technique, dives and turns. Earlier this month, local swimmers also attended Gold Class Swim Clinics in Geelong and the State Short Course Swimming Championships in Adelaide.

“It is really disappointing that we could not hold the state clinic in Mount Gambier but our city just doesn’t have the facilities to cater for such an event,” Mount Gambier Swimming Club Coach Julie Moran said.

Talented local swimmers selected to represent the state in school swimming during the past few years have had limited pool access and restricted training in the lead up to national events. This year, swimmers travelled over the border to use Portland’s pool during winter for intensive training sessions in the lead up to State Short Course Swimming Championships.

“Regular trips over the border in the past month have really highlighted the need for an indoor pool in our local community.”

“One swimmer who returned from Nationals several months ago, was unable to practice dives and turns in the lead up to this major event as there were no facilities available locally.”

The swimming coach said that while the clubs are grateful to train at Swimskool in Mount Gambier during the winter months, swimmers are disadvantaged because they are not able to practice all of the necessary skills required to compete at swim meets.

“Training times are limited and so is lane space. Currently there are up to 11 swimmers squashed into one lane during morning sessions,” Mrs Moran said.

Both clubs agree that the indoor 25 metre heated pool proposed as part of the Mount Gambier Regional Sport and Recreation Centre would adequately cater to training needs and provide an opportunity for clubs to host major carnivals, generate tourism and create economic benefit within the region.

“We love the idea that one day we might be able to host our own winter inter-district and cross border swim meets to bring swimmers and their families to our region.”

“With the current 50 metre pool at Olympic Park and the addition of the proposed 25 metre indoor pool as part of the centre, there would always be a pool open for public swimming in Mount Gambier, unlike when we currently host the South East Swimming Association summer carnivals. Even Adelaide clubs have welcomed the proposal and have indicated that they would consider running training camps in Mount Gambier.”

Mrs Moran and Blue Lake Y Swim Club counterpart Jamie MacDonald are members of the Mount Gambier Regional Sport and Recreation Centre Community Reference Group (CRG), which plays an important role in representing the community by providing input into the design, functionality and operations of the proposed community centre to ensure current and future needs of potential users are considered.

An indoor 25 metre pool will be perfect for winter training and is also a far more economical option for our region where pools need to be heated significantly in the cooler months of the year.
- Mount Gambier Swimming Club Coach Julie Moran

“The proposed sporting facility will provide benefits to many sporting groups incorporated within the plan and the dry area will be fantastic to help offset the running expenses of the pool.”

“We are the largest city outside of Adelaide and now is the time to look towards the future before costs go up any more and this project becomes unachievable.”

Media contact: For further information please contact City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or smclean@mountgambier.sa.gov.au