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Local Community Pools Support Upgrading

Local Community Pools Support Upgrading of Christchurch Facilities

A local Christchurch swimming group supports a proposal made today by the Progressive Party leader, Jim Anderton.

Edgeware Swimming Pool spokesperson, Ingrid Stonhill says she hopes Mr Anderton’s suggestion that local school swimming pools be upgraded and developed so they can be used more effectively by more children, should be extended to local, community pools.

“Pools like Edgeware, Papanui and Belfast enable local children to gain experience and confidence in the water with families and children from their own community, outdoors. This plays an important part in strengthening the overall infrastructure of our communities,” she says. “Despite the weather and further cutbacks in the council budget, we have just had one of our most successful season openings.”

Mrs Stonhill says St Albans School, which is near Edgeware Pool, uses the facility a great deal.

“Ours and other community pools have been under threat for some years now but we know how essential they are to the local families. We agree with Mr Anderton, and we have been advocating as a community for some time, that our children must improve their swimming skills and without pools which are easy to get to and reasonably priced, that will not happen,” she says.

The Edgeware Pool has had it’s operating hours cut back every year for the last 4-5 years and there has been concern voiced in the St Albans community that with the closing date getting earlier and earlier now to the end of January, there wasn’t even enough time for children to effectively take part in swimming lessons, which are very popular at the pool.

“As Mr Anderton says, in New Zealand, our death by drowning rate is double that of Australia's. We wish to work closely with the council and Mr Moore to ensure our community pools are of a standard and are open long enough to provide the much needed water experience for our children and their families,” says Mrs Stonhill.

Ingrid Stonhill says public facilities like QEII are fantastic and offer great choice for Christchurch people but we are a culture which embraces the outdoors and encouraging people to use facilities that offer an outdoor option, with fresh air and grassy areas, is essential.

“We look forward to working with Mr Anderton, the Associate Minister of Education and the Council as they look at ways to improve our local swimming pools while retaining the outdoor option for our children and families,” she says.

© Scoop Media

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