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Rohan Smith, 13, Tayla Dyer, 9, and Cassidy Dyer, 13, are gearing up for a new swimming club at Mt Helena Aquatic Centre.

Big plans at pool this summer

A NEW swimming club in Mt Helena has started the summer season with 32 members, but is still in need of a coach.

Mt Helena Residents and Ratepayers Association president Joan Quinn has been on a mission to save the Mt Helena Aquatic Centre since the Shire of Mundaring shortened its operational hours and the season from 22 to nine weeks in September 2017.

The decision to reduce the season length and opening hours was made based on figures showing 92 per cent of attendance occurred over nine weeks of the 2016/17 season.

Mrs Quinn said the swimming club attracted pool users and gave the youth something to do in the school holidays.

“Part of it was to bring more people into the pool to make the community aware and one of the best ways to do that is form a swimming club,” she said.

“It’s very important also for the fun aspect, not only as something as serious as a club but also to help people in the community have fun and enjoy each other’s company.

“We’ve certainly got the interest, now we need a coach.”

The last time the pool had a swim club was 2016. 

The 2018/19 summer season started last Saturday, December 8 with $2 entry for the first week. 

Mrs Quinn attributed an increase in usage to the one-week only low-cost entry fee.

This year pool members have welcomed a new barbecue and pool toys for public use but say they are restricted by the short opening hours of 3.30pm to 6pm, and 1.30pm to 6pm on weekends and during school holidays. 

“Without a doubt, since the swimming club has formed we have to have more time to swim,” Mrs Quinn said.

“The season is only nine weeks, by the time we get started we’ll be part way through the season – unless we get it extended,” Mrs Quinn said.

The association president moved several motions at Wednesday night’s Mundaring electors’ meeting to extend the season to the public, see Mundaring electors move 17 motions, page 7. 

“There are lots of people in the community who would love to see the pool open later than 6pm, 6pm is just too early,” she said.

“I work down in Midland and you leave work at 5pm, by the time you get up here it’s too late.”

Since 1995 the Shire has had a license with the Department of Education for the shared use of the Mt Helena Aquatic Centre located on the grounds of the Eastern Hills Senior High School.

In March the Shire requested the Education Department split the cost of the pool manager’s salary 50/50, reducing expenditure from $68,700 to $55,000 a saving of $13,700 a year.

Email mthelenaswimmingclub@gmailcom

By Claire Ottaviano

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Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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