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Naenae Pool's 50th Birthday Bash

27 October 2006

Naenae Pool's 50th Birthday Bash

Naenae Olympic Pool turns 50 years young on Friday 10 November 2006, and to honour the milestone, the pool is hosting a week of entertainment and fun to reminisce on the past 50 years, celebrate the present, and look forward to the future.

Mayor David Ogden will open the 50th Jubilee celebrations on Friday 10 November at 11:00am with an official cutting of the pool's birthday cake following a free Nifty 50’s aquarobics class at 9:30am.

Other highlights on the Jubilee programme include a screening of the movie classic, Grease, in the pool on Saturday 11 November and a 1950’s themed Carnival Day featuring 50c entry, live music, carnival rides and children’s races on Saturday 18 November.

In addition to the events, a series of specials will also be available through to 31 December allowing patrons great discounts on pool attractions.

Hutt City Council Leisure Active Business Unit Manager, Marcus Sherwood, says:

"We are very proud to be celebrating the 50 year history of Naenae Pool. If former Mayor Percy Dowse, were alive today he would be amazed at how far the pool has come in the past half century.

"I'd like to say thank-you to the public for their ongoing support of the pool and we look forward to welcoming them for many years to come".

50th Jubilee programmes are available for Hutt City Council libraries and swimming pools, the Hutt City i-Site Visitor Centre and it can also be downloaded from the Hutt City Council website www.huttcity.info

History

Naenae Olympic Pool was officially opened on 10 November 1956 by Mayor Percy Dowse. The pool was built at a cost of £150,000 part of which was levied through a special rate on residents of Epuni, Taita and Naenae.

At the time of the opening it was the first “deck level” pool in the Southern Hemisphere. The 1956 Souvenir Brochure states that the “pool is based on modern standards, 165 feet x 55 feet, suitable for the biggest sporting events such as Empire or Olympic Games”.

In 1958, additions were made to the pool including the construction of a new learners and tiny tots pools. In 1972, Naenae Pool was the first in New Zealand to have a moveable bulkhead installed allowing the pool greater flexibility of use and 1987 saw the roofing of the main pool and the construction of the ZoomTube waterslide and refurbishment of the dressing rooms and pool offices.

In 1995, the Naenae Community Committee launched the “Raising the Roof” fundraising campaign to roof the toddlers and learners pool. The new re-roofed learners’ pool reopened on 28 May 1998.

The pool has been a major venue for learning to swim in the valley for 50 years and was one of the first to establish a competitive swim programme. Notable swimmers who started their careers in Naenae are Rebecca Perrot, Philip Rush and Simon Percy.

In 2001 the pool won the New Zealand Recreation Association Top Facility Award being the first pre-1990 facility to win this accolade.

The pool holds over 1,600,000 litres of water, attracts over 280,000 visitors annually and there are over 300,000 rides on the ZoomTube each year.

In 2007, the pool will once again be reinvented with the addition of a fitness gym to complement the water activities.

ENDS


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