Plans for Tai­hape Swim Cen­tre

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Taihape - AL­IS­TER BROWNE

It’s a bit of a hike to the near­est beach from Tai­hape but wa­ter dan­ger still lurks in places like rivers, ponds, pools and farm troughs.

They’re threats Trevor Ni­cholls plans to tackle now that he’s run­ning Tai­hape’s Swim Cen­tre af­ter the com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment trust re­lin­quished its con­tract with the Ran­gitı¯kei Dis­trict Coun­cil.

Ni­cholls, whose acad­emy runs the Mar­ton pool and owns the West End pool in Palmer­ston North, at­tracted con­tro­versy when his ten­der beat out lo­cal woman Buzz Clarke, who was pre­vi­ously in­volved in run­ning the Tai­hape cen­tre.

Ni­cholls, whose staff of eight are all Tai­hape lo­cals, said he brought a ‘‘huge pas­sion’’ to the job, which meant that for him it was more than just work. Swim­ming has been a life­long in­ter­est for the 73-year-old and wife Mar­garet, who own the Ni­cholls Swim Acad­emy. And it runs in the fam­ily - daugh­ter Karen is man­ag­ing the Tai­hape cen­tre.

Ni­cholls was an elite swim coach, say­ing he had been ‘‘ev­ery­where’’ with the sport over his life­time, ex­cept an Olympics. So he reck­oned he had ‘‘ex­ten­sive’’ ex­pe­ri­ence that would add value to what he did at the cen­tre. He said he in­tended bring­ing a wide range of pro­grammes to the Tai­hape cen­tre for the five months of the year it is open.

‘‘There has been sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in our pro­grammes we saw it on the open day we held.’’ Trevor Ni­cholls

These would range from preschool­ers to high school stu­dents on the gate­way pro­gramme in their last year at school. These lat­ter could en­ter life­guard­ing or learn-to-swim cour­ses, which would set them up for jobs in the in­dus­try.

Ni­cholls ad­mit­ted there were ‘‘chal­lenges’’ in what he had planned be­cause he was new to town, but said there had been plenty of en­thu­si­asm from peo­ple once they knew what he was go­ing to run at the cen­tre.

‘‘There has been sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in our pro­grammes - we saw it on the open day we held,’’ he said.

Af­ter run­ning 1000 les­sons a week at West End he’s con­fi­dent the peo­ple of Tai­hape will also re­spond to what’s on of­fer.

Ni­cholls said he took on the Tai­hape con­tract af­ter be­ing asked to put up his hand, given he had a good re­la­tion­ship with the coun­cil through his work in Mar­ton. The coun­cil said it awarded the con­tract to Ni­cholls in the knowl­edge he would be look­ing lo­cally for staff.


Trevor Ni­cholls is tak­ing over the Tai­hape Swim Cen­tre.

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