Peo­ple swim 24 hours for pool up­grade

Re­porter Gary Far­row turns back the pages of the Cam­bridge Edi­tion for our se­ries to find out more about ef­forts to up­grade the pub­lic swim­ming pool.

Cambridge Edition - - CONVERSATIONS -

‘‘Now is the time for the com­mu­nity to show they re­ally want an in­door pool.’’

Cam­bridge res­i­dents have been push­ing for an up­grade to the town’s pool com­plex for a long time in­deed.

Look­ing back at pub­li­ca­tions of the Cam­bridge Edi­tion from 2006, it’s clear the cam­paign was press­ing on in earnest.

‘‘Now is the time for the com­mu­nity to show they re­ally want an in­door pool, say the or­gan­is­ers of the project’s first big fundrais­ing ef­fort,’’ ed­i­tor Wayne Timmo wrote for the Jan­uary 11 is­sue.

Cam­bridge Am­a­teur Swim­ming Club was plan­ning a 24-hour swimathon fundraiser at Wil­liamson Street for Fe­bru­ary 10, 2006, to help what was called the Cov­ered Pool Cam­paign.

‘‘The club plans to claim the cur­rent va­cant record for the world’s long­est swim­ming car­ni­val, with the help of club mem­bers, ser­vice clubs, busi- nesses and com­mit­ted lo­cals to cre­ate an at­mos­phere of fun entertainment, food and, of course, swim­ming,’’ Timmo wrote.

In­di­vid­u­als, busi­nesses and fam­i­lies were all be­ing en­cour­aged to sup­port the project, what- ever their swim­ming abil­ity.

They could book a lane for a time with a gold coin do­na­tion, with or­gan­iser Graeme Martin say­ing in­ter­est in the event was high.

He said coun­cil it­self was sup- portive of the event, and it had com­mis­sioned a study into what type of com­plex was needed, its lo­ca­tion and the es­ti­mated costs.

The event ran from 6pm on the night of Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 10.

It was opened by a minute’s For­mer Edi­tion ed­i­tor si­lence in hon­our of for­mer club mem­ber Liz Neels who had died in a car crash in Kara­piro in 2005.

Her par­ents Mike and Lori kick started do­na­tions with a gen­er­ous $1000 con­tri­bu­tion.

Then eques­trian Mark Todd (now Sir Mark) also swam a few laps.

An Olympic shirt signed by cham­pion cy­clist Sarah Ulmer was even given away in a raf­fle.

Timmo re­ported in the Fe­bru­ary 15 Edi­tion that the swimathon went very well, rais­ing $15,000.

Event helper Jenny de Vil­liers said the swim­ming club’s youngest mem­bers did par­tic­u­larly well.

‘‘There’s some re­ally lit­tle ones that have given it ev­ery­thing,’’ she said.

‘‘Each time they were called they never said ‘no I don’t want to’, they just swam with no com­plaints.’’


The Cam­bridge Edi­tion gave ex­ten­sive cov­er­age for the Cov­ered Pool Cam­paign in 2006. Wayne Timmo

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