$2.5m pool upgrade good news for swimmers

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 05:00 15/05/2014
Wellington East pool plans
SWIMMING TRUST OF WELLINGTON

SWIMMING ABOUT: An artist's impression of the upgraded Wellington East Girl's College pool.

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There is good news for Wellington's keen young swimmers.

Six years after the popular Tasman St indoor swimming pool was demolished, a $2.5 million facility is to be built at Wellington East Girls' College.

Steve Hind, father of Commonwealth Games swimming silver medallist Tash Hind, was upset the Boys' and Girls' Institute pool was demolished in 2008 by Foodstuffs to make way for a supermarket, especially because it has never been built.

"It was a great loss to swimming in Wellington, as [TSW Swim School] had to close and nothing was done to replace the pool space," he said.

"The training was a really good standard. Tash learnt to swim there and went on to represent New Zealand.

"It was all about training the kids to go on to swim clubs or other aquatic sports."

The Swimming Trust of Wellington was set up to lobby for more pools and to promote swimming as a sport in Wellington.

Its key project is the redevelopment of the Wellington East Girls' College pool.

"The Tasman St pool closing was the catalyst for us to do this project," said Hind, the chairman of the trust.

The college's 33-metre pool will be renovated into a heated 25m lane pool and a learner pool.

"It will be dual purpose. It will mean we can have primary schools using one pool and another group using the other," Hind said.

"Community groups will also be able to use it. It will be light, bright and airy, and an asset to the area."

The existing facilities at the college meant the trust needed only $1.1m to fund the $2.5m project. It received funding through grants, including from Wellington City Council, Lotteries and the New Zealand Community Trust.

"We are ready to build this year," Hind said.

Wellington East principal Sally Haughton said the college was delighted to be working with the trust.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for us," she said.

"We can develop a resource that we haven't been using to its full potential, work with another great organisation and build a community resource. We really like that."

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- The Wellingtonian

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