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Local schools lead way by pooling their resources

Apr 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

PoolMAIN

Beginner swimmers learn to use life jackets with the help of an EasySwim instructor.

KHANDALLAH School is looking for $150,000 to upgrade its pool and is confident its case stands up for funding from Wellington City Council and charitable trusts.

Three other schools in the area use the pool, along with a private swimming school, in what principal Lousie Green believes is a financial and social model that works.

“The pool is used almost all the time and it certainly benefits our children, but it benefits other schools and also it benefits the community.”

The school’s need for pool funding comes as 11 of the 22 school pools in Wellington sit empty because of lack of money to repair them.

Khandallah’s heated, indoor pool is used by three other schools in the area all year round, and also used by a private operator for lessons, teaching preschoolers and adult swimmers.

The other schools using it are Crofton Downs, St Benedicts and Kelburn Normal.

Khandallah principal Louise Green says this is a great example of how a school pool can be fully utilised as a community facility which is rarely empty.

However, she says running the pool is costly and it needs to be upgraded in order to keep operating and better service the community.

“Our big challenge is keeping our pool going because it needs a significant amount of work. So that’s something our community will be looking at this year,” she says.

The school is fundraising to support the pool, but a considerable amount of money is needed to maintain and upgrade it, and the school is looking for council support.

“We’re hoping that the council will, in their forward planning, provide some money to keep school pools going. We will look for grants to support us.”

Private instructor Todd Morton runs more than 150 classes a week for EasySwim at the pool, teaching swimmers from six-month-old babies to adults and thinks swimming is a vital skill.

“They simply just have to learn to learn to swim. It’s that simple.”

Mr Morton says the demand for swimming pools and lessons is high and Khandallah School pool is important in providing a place for learner swimmers.

“There are people out there who just can’t get into swimming lessons. Without pools like this there would be another 500-odd kids with nowhere to swim.”

Ms Green says the school’s pool relieved some of the pressure on the council pools, which are struggling to meet demand.

“Our children need to be able to keep themselves safe in the water and they need to be able to swim for enjoyment.”

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