Tackling Cook Strait for a new pool

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By ROBYN BRISTOW

A call has gone out from the Amberley Community Pool Society for sponsors to support the community to swim 22.5km – 1023 lengths of the Amberley pool – the same distance as across Cook Strait.

It’s hoped to keep funds rolling in as the old pool moves closer to reaching its use-by-date and the latest effort promises to bring it to life briefly as swimmers and supporters line up to “cross the strait”.

The Swim the Cook Strait Challenge kicks off on Friday, February 24 with school children from around the district swimming from 10am to 2.30pm at local schools or at the Amberley pool.

From 4pm to 7pm the pool will be open to all-comers.

Everyone taking part is asked to raise $10 each from sponsors for each length swum.

There will be food and drinks to buy and the annual volunteers race will add excitement to the evening at 6pm.

On Saturday, February 25 teams will compete against each other to see who is first to swim the strait.

Swimmers are being asked to form a team to swim 1023 lengths at $1 a length.

There is a $1000 registration fee with registrations to be made to Kelly@amberleypreschool.co.nz or by phoning 0272149147.

Team numbers are strictly limited so people are being urged to be in quick.

Organiser Kelly Scanlon says pulling together as a community means more lengths will be swum so people should hurry and get together and start training for the big weekend of family fun.

“The more swimmers we get the more lanes we can fill up and the more times we can ‘swim the strait’,” she says.

There will be music and food, spot prizes, best costume, fastest individual, and lots more.

The present pool was built in 1927 and is coming to the end of its usable life.

In 2008, 2011 and 2012 engineer’s reports on the Amberley pool all indicated that a number of things won’t last much longer such as the filtration and disinfection systems.

If something fails and needs replacing it is expected it will trigger a domino effect and mean a whole bunch of non-compliance issues would have to be addressed to meet the current standards and building code.

The various reports all indicated that it isn’t practical or cost effective to repair or replace individual components of the pool that are at the end of their usable life.

The Amberley Community Pool Society, a community group established to save the local pool, says if nothing is done it is likely the pool will eventually be shut down and plans need to be in place to ensure it is replaced.

To date there is about $50,000 in the bank in the quest to reach a community share of the new pool of $1.75million.