ON a bleak day a few weeks from now if Orange’s indoor pool is full of the sounds of children swimming and playing it will be thanks to the perseverance of a group of people determined to see this facility built.
It has taken the best part of two decades for an Orange council to take a deep breath and jump in to the project.
While other cities and many smaller towns have taken the plunge and built indoor pool facilities Orange has baulked at the financial commitment, particularly the ongoing costs of heating a pool complex when income from visits during the colder months is an unknown.
Prior to the last election several councillors including councillors Kidd, Romano, Buckingham, Taylor and Whitton rated it as either a luxury or a low priority item that should be considered after more pressing issues such as water security and roads.
Championing the project were councillors Davis and Hamling with qualified support from councillors Rossiter, Hetherington and Priestley. Over the life of the last council it did succeed in securing grant funds and the votes that got the project over the line in council.
The construction phase has been problematic, and the new council must learn from that, but today as the first paying customers enjoy the indoor pool it is a time to thank those driving the project, particularly the members of Swimfit.
The indoor pool is about more than letting swimming club squads do their laps year round. It is also about giving every child in Orange the opportunity and encouragement to learn to swim and one more facility to have fun and reap the benefits of exercise.