ORANGE’S newly opened indoor pool was a hit on Wednesday among children taking part in this week’s Merge spring holiday activity program.
It was a noisy morning at the indoor pool as children splashed, jumped and learnt to swim from expert instructors.
For 11-year-old Lual Wol the program gave him the chance to make new friends and do things he wouldn’t usually be able to.
Lual took part in this week’s senior program for children aged 11 to 15 years and said the pool was the highlight so far.
“I could swim but not that good...they [Merge] just take us to great places and we have a great time,” he said.
His new friend Fred Mundy, 11, said he was also enjoying the week and loved the swimming lessons.
“It’s great cause I like swimming,” he said.
Orange City Council Aboriginal youth project worker Kurt Beahan said Merge offered fun school holiday activities for targeted children in two age groups that may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.
Mr Beahan said the swimming skills the children learnt were vital in the lead up to summer.
“A lot of these kids are going to the lake or Gosling Creek, it’s an essential life skill,” he said.
Among the activities the children will take part in include movies, bike safety and maintenance lessons and and an excursion to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.
Around 30 children feature in each weekly program with junior children aged six to 10 years set to take part next week.
The program is in its sixth year and has been made possible thanks to support from Newcrest Cadia Valley Operations, Orange City Council and the Orange and District Picnic Race Club.