Pool set to open soon

Cromwell fa­cil­ity bril­liant but travel tir­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

Since mid-July Wanaka swim­mers have been ris­ing be­fore dawn sev­eral times aweek to make the 53 kilo­me­tre, 40 minute trek to Cromwell for train­ing.

Many oth­ers have made their wa­ter work­out an evening af­fair, so news the Wanaka pool should re­open at the end of the first week of Oc­to­ber has de­lighted the sleep­de­prived ath­letes.

Wanaka’s com­mu­nity pool was closed sud­denly on July 18 for en­gi­neer­ing and earth­quake rea­sons, and hun­dreds of swim­mers have been grate­ful for the use of the Cromwell Com­mu­nity Pool.

‘‘The Cromwell pool has been ab­so­lutely awe­some. The fa­cil­ity and the staff are fan­tas­tic. I wish we could pick it up and bring it back with us,’’ swimming coach Fi Hezinger said at her 6.30am train­ing ses­sion on Mon­day.

One of the im­me­di­ate and no­tice­able ben­e­fits of the Cromwell pool had been the cooler wa­ter tem­per­a­ture, mak­ing re­cov­ery be­tween sets eas­ier for the ath­letes – although the flip­side of this has been harder pro­grammes from Hezinger.

Her adult squad, As­pir­ing Swim­mers, has been vis­it­ing Cromwell four times a week while elite swim­mers from Wanaka Swim Club have had three trips a week, sup­ple­mented by ex­tra gym ses­sions be­fore school in Wanaka.

Hezinger has done the most kilo­me­tres by car, trav­el­ling an es­ti­mated 742km a week, while her charges prob­a­bly swim be­tween 10 and 15km over three or four ses­sions. ‘‘The kids are re­ally strug­gling. ‘‘It is a long day for them to travel down after school, get­ting back at 7pm . . . They are do­ing their home­work in the van. They have been very dis­ci­plined and or­gan­ised, and I am­re­ally proud of them but it has been tough on them,’’ Hezinger said.

The club’s top age group con­tenders Noel Bis­son and Sophie Fair­bairn are com­pet­ing in two weeks in the South Is­land cham­pi­onships at Ti­maru.

The rest of the club is pre­par­ing for the Queen­stown Early Bird Meet in three weeks’ time.

Hezinger is hop­ing when the Wanaka Pool re­opens there will be a chance for a three-day swim camp in the hol­i­days to get the young­sters back up to speed be­fore the fourth school term.

Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager op­er­a­tions Ruth Stokes said last week ev­ery­thing was on track for re­open­ing at the end of the first week in Oc­to­ber, although the date was still to be con­firmed.

A con­sent for struc­tural strength­en­ing work should be­gin this week, which would take about a week. Rou­tine an­nual main­te­nance would also be done.

Wanaka coun­cil­lor Lyal Cocks said last week the coun­cil was hop­ing to fast-track the con­sul­ta­tion process to bring a new aquatic cen­tre for­ward to stage one of the Three Parks sports fa­cil­i­ties.

The process was a le­gal re­quire­ment and would in­clude a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing.

Photo: MAR­JORIE COOK/FAIR­FAX NZ 629917116

Early birds: Wanaka swimming coach Fi Hezinger (front) and her As­pir­ing Swim­mers squad at Cromwell Pool. They are look­ing for­ward to re­turn­ing to the Wanaka pool when it re­opens next month.

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