Kowhai school swim­mingly good

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Janie Smith

You won’t catch Kowhai In­ter­me­di­ate School stu­dents cow­er­ing in the shal­low end of the swim­ming pool.

A new $2 mil­lion pool built on the school grounds means stu­dents will get lessons all-year round.

“Ev­ery stu­dent who leaves our school will leave as a re­ally com­pe­tent swim­mer,” says prin­ci­pal Paul Dou­glas.

“Hope­fully it will set some kids off on a path of recre­ational or com­pet­i­tive swim­ming they might oth­er­wise not have taken.”

The pool is a joint ven­ture be­tween the school and the Trent Bray Swim School, run by the for­mer Olympic swim­mer and his brother Davin.

While the pool opened in Au­gust, Mr Dou­glas says it has been three years in the plan­ning.

“The unique thing about it is that the school hasn’t paid for it. All we did was give up some of our land.”

The school had an old out­door pool which had a crack in the bot­tom and was go­ing to have to be re­paired or re­moved.

He ap­proached Trent and Davin, who have been run­ning their swim school from the Mt Al­bert Pri­mary School pool for the past six years and were looking to build a pur­pose­built venue.

“They put up the build­ing and the pool and we get to use it dur­ing the week.”

Now the stu­dents can swim all year, whereas the out­door pool could only be used for a few months in sum­mer be­fore it got too cold, he says.

The swim school op­er­ates out­side school hours so the pool is al­ways in use.

“It’s a unique way of solv­ing the prob­lem. Schools all over the place are clos­ing their pools be­cause they are too ex­pen­sive to run.”

The 25 me­tre, sixlane pool is the same size as those used for short course swim­ming cham­pi­onships. There is also a smaller pool for young chil­dren.

The swim school is able to hold baby swim­ming classes dur­ing the day and other classes out­side school hours.

Trent Bray says the project is a re­sult of Mr Dou­glas’s for­ward think­ing.

“It works re­ally well. It’s pur­pose-built spe­cially for learn­ing to swim.

“Ev­ery­thing there is de­signed to be able to cater for dif­fer­ent lev­els.”

In­struc­tors also spend time with the school teach­ers, show­ing them how to teach the chil­dren to swim.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the swim school, go to www.tbss.co.nz.


Swim skills: For­mer Olympic swim­mer Trent Bray, left, and Kowhai In­ter­me­di­ate prin­ci­pal Paul Dou­glas at their new joint ven­ture swim­ming pool.

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