Ath­letes, school in new pool cam­paign

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Yet another round of ‘‘end­less con­sul­ta­tion’’ needs to re­sult in a ‘‘fu­ture proof’’ pool for Wanaka, Chal­lenge Wanaka di­rec­tor Vic­to­ria Mur­ray-Orr says.

She said Wanaka needed to in­ves­ti­gate a ‘‘fu­ture proof’’ pool, of eight lanes, not six, and 50 me­tres in length rather than 25m.

‘‘Don’t build for now, build for 10, 20 years’ time. Build a pool that will at­tract the sports tourism dol­lar; build a pool that will be able to han­dle Wanaka’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion; build a pool that is an as­set for the com­mu­nity now and for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.’’

It was vi­tal that Wanaka had ac­cess to a pool sooner rather than later, not just be­cause of the elite ath­letes who used the fa­cil­ity to train for up­com­ing triathlon the Wanaka Chal­lenge, on Fe­bru­ary 22 next year, but for the com­mu­nity’s well­be­ing, she said.

At a Queen­stown Dis­trict Lakes Coun­cil meet­ing at Wanaka on Thurs­day coun­cil­lors voted unan­i­mously on a res­o­lu­tion for a spe­cial con­sul­ta­tive pro­ce­dure so that Wanaka ward res­i­dents could have their say be­fore the coun­cil made a decision about the pool.

A state­ment of pro­posal for the new Wanaka Sports fa­cil­ity in­clud­ing a lap pool and learn­ers pool was ex­pected to be ready for coun­cil con­sid­er­a­tion on Oc­to­ber 30.

Feed­back on at least four op­tions, which in­clude up­grad­ing and adding a learn­ers’ pool to the ex­ist­ing pool at a cost of $23 mil­lion to $25 mil­lion, build­ing a new pool at Three Parks, with two in­door courts, chang­ing rooms, stor­age and out­door ar­ti­fi­cial courts, es­ti­mated to cost $13.4m, or build­ing a stand­alone pool at the pro­posed North­lake de­vel­op­ment, would be sought from res­i­dents by the coun­cil.

Mount As­pir­ing Col­lege prin­ci­pal Wayne Bosley re­it­er­ated com­ments he had made to the Mir­ror fol­low­ing the pool’s clo­sure in July.

‘‘The col­lege’s opin­ion re­mains the same as it al­ways has been. We support the idea of a pool be­ing avail­able to the young peo­ple of this com­mu­nity and in close prox­im­ity to the schools.’’

Wanaka elite triath­lete Braden Cur­rie said ‘‘I be­lieve that it would be crazy to spend so much to fix and im­prove the old pool and it is time to move on.

‘‘I be­lieve there should be a 50 me­tre pool with a di­vide so it can be used for school groups in the day and in the morn­ing for train­ing, rather than two pools. There does need to be chil­dren’s pool too but from a ath­lete point of pool I think a 50 me­tre pool is vi­tal,’’ he said.

‘‘There is such a wealth of ath­letes that would love to be based in Wanaka in sum­mer but the cur­rent pool is the only let-down. A new pool would be an amaz­ing as­set for Wanaka’s fu­ture.’’

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