Pool visitors lap up cool splash to beat heat

RECORD breaking temperatures across the state in December and January didn’t lead to record breaking attendance records across the Tamworth region’s pools, but they were a huge improvement on the 2012 summer period.

More than 100,000 people visited the six Tamworth regional pools – Tamworth city and south, Barraba, Kootingal, Nundle and Manilla between December and the end of January – 30,000 more than during the same time last year.

Council’s technical officer of pools, Gary Johnson, said a stand out for attendance was Barraba.

“It had been on track to set a record for attendance since council amalgamated in 2004,” he said.

Unfortunately the cooler weather in that final week of January pushed the record a touch out of reach.

“Barraba is just 110 visits behind its record of 9872 visits to the end of January, set over the summer of 2005-2006,” Mr Johnson said.

“The new pool supervisor at the Barraba pool this year, Shaun Wilson was pleased with the visitors.”

Mr Johnson said warmer weather and a tweak to the pool’s opening hours appeared to attract more members of the community to the pool this summer.

“The hot weather means elevated water temperatures and while most people attend the pool to cool off they don’t tend to like cold water much,” he said.

“It’s been a pleasant season in the water.”

With school swimming carnival season fast approaching, Mr Johnson said, about 35 swimming carnivals would take place over the coming months.

“That traditionally means attendance rates at the six pools are very stable regardless of the season,” he said.

During the 2012-2013 summer season 35 staff have been employed by council to deliver services at the six pools.

“This year that number included instructors delivering the council initiated Swim and Survive program, which in the past was delivered by the Department of Sport and Recreation,” he said.

More than 200 children participated in the various nine-day Swim and Survive programs at each of the six regional pools.

GREAT SEASON: Pools around the region were well attended during December and January. Pictured is lifeguard Megan Hunter helping out young swimmer Megan Johnson. Photo: Steve grubbing

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