Associated and Catholic Colleges join push for another public pool in northern suburbs

Head of Sport Mat Davis and Principal Rob Marshall with talented swimmers Tatiana Valentim, Riley Loller, Charlotte Ward and Jake Harvey.  Picture: Martin Kennealey d482414
Head of Sport Mat Davis and Principal Rob Marshall with talented swimmers Tatiana Valentim, Riley Loller, Charlotte Ward and Jake Harvey. Picture: Martin Kennealey d482414

SCHOOLS are joining a push for another public pool in the northern suburbs.

The Associated and Catholic Colleges has backed calls for aquatic facilities initiated by Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts and Butler MLA John Quigley earlier this year.

In a letter to the Times and the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup, ACC sport director Kyle March requested further development of aquatic facilities in the northern suburbs.

Mr March said the 11 local schools in ACC worked hard to promote and strengthen their swimming programs, relying heavily on use of HBF Arena in Joondalup and Aquamotion in Wanneroo.

He said concerns about increasing difficulty to train effectively at those facilities arose at a recent meeting of the heads of sports and principals of the coastal schools.

“There is a distinct lack of availability to the access of lanes at a 50m pool facility,” he said.

“The growth in the population of the northern suburbs has led to a corresponding growth in schools, both existing and planned, within Perth’s northern corridor.

“The ACC would welcome an opportunity to support any plans either or both councils may have to develop aquatic facilities.”

Mr March said the ACC encouraged Wanneroo to plan development of more aquatic centres, and asked for existing facilities to have greater flexibility for school bookings.

Irene McCormack Catholic College principal Rob Marshall, who is also the ACC president, said children needed access to a pool to learn to swim and for training.

Mr Marshall said the Butler school had access to existing pools only a couple of times a week in the lead up to the ACC interschool carnival in March.

“It’s only very limited access to a pool that our students can get,” he said.

“What schools need is to have access to a pool to give kids a good understanding of water.”

Mr Marshall said as well as limited lane access, the time required to take students to the existing pools was a challenge.

“We are spending 40 minutes just transporting students to and from (the pool),” he said.

“I imagine the government schools have got similar issues in terms of access to the pools.”

Sports teachers and principals from other northern suburbs schools, including Peter Moyes Anglican Community School, Prendiville Catholic College, St Mark’s Anglican Community School, St Stephen’s School and Lake Joondalup Baptist College supported the push for another pool.

Mrs Roberts put up a motion to bring forward the construction timeframe for an aquatic facility from 2042-46 at a council meeting in February.

Mr Quigley’s office has been circulating a petition supporting that motion, which last week had attracted about 1600 signatures.

The City did not respond to questions before deadline.

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