Plans for Taihape Swim Centre
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.