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School Sports Day Celebrates Summer Pool Upgrade

School Sports Day Celebrates Summer Pool Upgrade

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Omarama School kids have a splashing good timely in their solar heated pool

Media Release for immediate use 19 December 2008


On Wednesday 17 December pupils at Omarama School held a sports day to celebrate the recent installation of a new solar heating system at its school pool.

The fun sports day involved games, including 3-legged races, and a barbeque lunch. The children then took to the pool in the afternoon to officially celebrate the new solar heating system.

The Omarama School pool had the solar heating system installed in October by The Solar Store in Timaru, thanks to funding from the Meridian Waitaki Community Fund.

Kevin Grant, Omarama School Board of Trustees member, says the upgrade to the pool benefits the whole community

“We are delighted that we have been able to install a new pool heating system thanks to the support from the Meridian Waitaki Community Fund. Previously, the pool was not heated at all so the opportunity for the kids to swim was quite narrow. The new solar heating system has meant the pool can be used for longer and by more people,” he says.

“The community is already enjoying the benefits of the warmer pool. It is not that common to use the pool at this time of year, as it is often too cold. It is great to see the kids getting right into the spirit of summer,” he added.

Kevin Grant says the cost efficiency of solar heating will also be beneficial to the school.

“The solar heating system will make good use of the high sunshine hours we get in Omarama. By using natural energy we will save money in the long run than if we used alternative heating systems,” he added.

Mark France, Meridian Strategic Relations Advisor and Chair of the Waitaki Community Fund, says the Fund was set up to support initiatives like this one.

“The solar heating system at Omarama School is a great initiative. The community has indicated it wants the Fund to support projects that foster the development of opportunities for sporting, social and recreational activities. By installing an effective and sustainable heating source the community now has access to an enhanced recreational facility, encouraging more people to use it,” he says.

“It is great to see that the community is already enjoying the upgraded facility, and what better way to mark the occasion than a fun sports day followed by a swim,” he added.

The Meridian Waitaki Community Fund is to the value of $1 million over three years and is managed by a panel of community members and Meridian staff, who work together to help decide which local initiatives are supported.

To find out more about the Meridian Waitaki Community Fund visit http://www.meridian.co.nz/AboutUs/

Applications for consideration in the next round must be submitted by 3 February 2009.


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