THE proposed removal of a dive pool at Bayswater Waves Aquatic Centre will take away junior swimmers’ most loved part of training, according to a swimming club secretary.
Central Aquatic Swimming and Lifesaving Club is the main user of the outdoor dive pool, with Guildford Grammar School’s water polo team and diving agencies also sharing the facility.
In November 2015, the City of Bayswater approved a staged asset renewal program for the 1998 building over 10 years.
In January, the council voted to start the tender process to undertake stage 1a refurbishment works including refurbishing the existing 50m pool, grandstand roof and covered seating, and removing the dive pool.
Funding for the $920,000 works were in the City’s 2016-17 budget.
At last month’s committee meeting, the council deferred its decision to award the tender pending investigations into whether removal of the dive pool could be taken out after Cr John Rifici raised two clubs’ concerns.
Central Aquatic club secretary Anna Huska said the dive pool was “well-utilised” by about 30 children 190 days a year and removing it would cause a “huge impact”.
“We are appreciative that council are trying to mitigate the impact but there will be an impact of the pool’s removal,” she said.
“An important thing for us is that the dive pool has raised platform edges, which is critical to building kids’ upper body strength.
“The kids who use that pool absolutely love it; they scream in excitement and beg for the coach to take them to the dive pool because that is the most exciting and fun part of their training.”
Ms Huska said council’s alternative option for the club to use the wave pool would increase crowding.
“It is an alternative but it is in no way an equivalent experience for our swimmers because it does not have raised platform edges,” she said. “It is a safer experience out in the dive pool compared with the wave pool; (the wave pool) is set for general users and the temperature is too hot.”
Bayswater Mayor Barry McKenna said the Central Aquatic president and coach agreed to the removal and relocating its training to the wave pool.
“The fact remains that the cost to maintain the dive pool is significant and demand for the pool is low,” he said.
Cr McKenna said the exclusion of the removal of the dive pool from the original tender was possible through negotiations with the tender.
“This item will be the subject of a further report to council in May,” he said.