Shannon School’s two swimming pools are currently undergoing a much awaited upgrade thanks to a $25,000 grant from New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT). The pools and changing sheds will be upgraded, a new filtration system will be installed, and the general area will be spruced up with new paint in time for the summer holiday period.
As the only pools in the Shannon area available for both school and community use, it is vital that they meet New Zealand Standards (NZS) criteria. If they don’t and are closed, the only other option for water recreation is the local river, which has been deemed hazardous due to the hydro-dam’s proximity. The upgrade will help ensure the pools meet the necessary NZS safety standards.
Both the learner and deeper pools are used by a number of school and community groups. These include after school care groups, local youth groups, three early childhood centres and a parent-led aqua aerobic group.
Murray Powell, principal of Shannon School, says the school has been concerned about the condition of the pools for a while now.
“The facility did need upgrading,” says Mr Powell. “We’re really thrilled we’ve got this opportunity to get the work done. There is an issue in the Shannon area, because the river is unsafe for children to use. We want the pools open so they have alternative swimming options available.
“Now the pools are being upgraded we hope someone might establish a swimming school or even take over the community bookings so the facility can be used by even more people,” he says. “We’re hoping some enthusiastic locals will come forward to run those things.”
Shannon School will be holding a ‘painting bee’ once the initial upgrades have been finished. People interested in helping are encouraged to contact the school for further detail.
Guy Sargent, chairperson of NZCT’s Horizons Regional Advisory Committee, says the trust was only too pleased to help the school with this important safety work.
“We know how important sport and recreation is to communities, and we appreciate how challenging it would be for the school to raise the funds needed to get this work done,” says Mr Sargent.
“We’re delighted to be able to fund this valuable community facility which will benefit many locals and hopefully encourage more people to get active and waterwise.”