UNTIL late 2012, most people would have thought anyone swimming in winter, in Orange, was nuts.
Eighteen months on from the official opening of the indoor section of Orange Aquatic Centre, swimming is more popular than ever, particularly during the colder months.
Featuring a heated 25-metre lap pool, a heated leisure pool, tiered seating for 200 and a cafe, the indoor centre caters for all swimmers, young and old.
Orange Aquatic Centre manager Josh Maley said there was several reasons for the increasing popularity.
“Obviously we’ve had two hot summer, so those numbers were up a lot,” he said.
“But as people become more aware of the option in winter, the numbers get better. We’ve improved a lot from this time last year.”
City of Orange Swim Club president Fiona Tyrie said she isn’t surprised by the popularity boom, adding her club has also experienced an increase in participation.
“It is an awesome facility, and a big plus for Orange,” Mrs Tyrie said.
“I’ve had people comment to me about it, they’ve been gobsmacked. It allows kids, and everyone the opportunity to swim during winter. We’ve also noticed increased numbers as a club, and we don’t expect that to change. It’s great for fitness and health as well.”
JETS Swim Club carnival project co-ordinator Douglas Beggs agreed, saying swimming is a sport the entire community can enjoy.
“Anyone can do it, that’s the beauty,” he said.
“It’s great for your health, and it’s a good way to meet people, or you can do it competitively. The indoor pool has had a huge impact on our club, and numbers. It’s not just JETS, numbers have increased across the board.
“It’s also made swimming another non-contact option for young and old in winter, and I think that is a massive reason for the increase in popularity too.”