SCHOOLS have presented a petition with more than 1000 signatures for a public pool in the north coast area to the City of Wanneroo.
Swimming captains from Peter Moyes Anglican Community School and Irene McCormack Catholic College presented the petition to Mayor Tracey Roberts and Deputy Mayor Natalie Sangalli on August 31.
Peter Moyes head of sports Bernie Streeter said the petition supported the mayor’s drive for a local 50m aquatic facility, following her February motion on notice to add a pool to the City’s advocacy strategy and bring forward the construction date.
Under the existing plan, the proposed construction timeframe was 2042-46 but Mr Streeter said the facility was needed within five years given the City’s population growth.
“Recent support from the Federal Government has pushed for improved swimming education in primary schools in order to address a deadly decline in water safety skills,” he said.
“The Sport 2030 document, unveiled by federal Sport Minister Bridget McKenzie, demands every Australian child have access to basic swimming and water safety education and knowledge.
“The school community believes all children should have access to a learn to swim program in primary school.
“Support for a greater focus on teaching swimming to school-age children provides skills for life for kids around beaches, waterways and dams.
“Swimming in Australia is a way of life and a fundamental life skill, so it is vitally important that our children learn to swim for their safety, enjoyment and health.”
Mrs Roberts said the council recently identified that north coastal suburbs needed a public aquatic facility, including an Olympic size swimming pool, prior to the existing 2042 timeframe.
“It is anticipated that such a facility would cater for local recreational swimmers, students from nearby schools, swimming clubs and provide opportunities for state, national and international competitions,” she said.
“The City is currently in the process of conducting a need and feasibility study to assess the most appropriate facility for the community, and is seeking a funding contribution from the State and Federal governments.
“The City welcomes the strong support from the community and all community feedback will be incorporated into the current study.”
Mr Streeter said the benefits of a 50m swimming facility included social inclusion, personal fitness, swimming classes and increased water awareness preventing drowning.
He said a north coast facility would also result in less travel time for students going to swimming lessons, greater access to pool space and would create opportunities to start swimming and triathlon clubs.
The City has one aquatic facility, Wanneroo Aquamotion, and most of its pools are closed for the next four months to be retiled.