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Swimming club backs pool project with big donation

November 18th, 2015
[by David Armstrong]

An indoor swimming pool in Motueka means so much to young competitive swimmers and learners that their club has donated $5,000 to help start the fundraising effort.

Aspiring Motueka swimmers and their parents will really appreciate having a local facility, rather than having to travel to Richmond or Nelson for training, says Motueka Swimming Club treasurer Philippa Thain, handing over the donation.

"This will be a wonderful facility not only for our own club members but also for heaps of Motueka people who love swimming and want to be able to do it regularly without having to travel so far.

"We want a pool that we, and the whole Motueka community, can use for more than just the summer months."

A committee of Good Sports Motueka has finalised plans to build a community pool by upgrading the existing Motueka High School pool, and has begun a campaign to raise the $1 million that will allow the pool to be thermally enclosed.

That will make it usable for much of the year rather than the four months (if you're lucky) that it can be open now. New changing rooms for the public and a warm-down pool will also be made.

The fundraising campaign will swing into full gear early next year, but already donations have taken the fund well into the tens of thousands of dollars.

The pool committee chairman Fred Hickling says that these early donations and pledges show that the community is serious about getting this done after years of disappointments.

"Having the swimming club donate $5,000 is a wonderful effort and shows they are right behind the project."

Lisa Martin, who is on the Swimming Club committee, is now also working on the pool fundraising team and is committed to making it happen. Her son Ethan wants to swim in the deaf Olympics in three years, but they cannot afford the travel to Richmond for daily training.

She says there are at present five Motueka club members who are doing well at national level competitions, but two have given up recently because of the lack of adequate training facilities in Motueka.

The club has about 15 to 20 members who are training at some sort of competitive level, and at least 30 to 40 others who are learning to swim better. Many others are keen to swim regularly but are not members of the swimming club.

Quite a few others belong to swimming clubs in Richmond and Nelson because of their facilities.

The next pool fundraising activity will be a booth at the Motueka A & P Show where visitors can learn more about the project and make their own donations.

Philippa Thain hands over the $5,000 cheque to Fred Hickling, while young swimming club
members Ethan Martin, Alex Thain and Zarrie Martin look on.


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