The new hydrotherapy pool in full swing at WRAC
Just last month two new pool facilities were opened in the Capital - a dedicated hydrotherapy pool at Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie and a new learner facility at Karori Pool.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the funding reflects the high value we place on learning to swim and staying active, fit and healthy.
"Our new and improved facilities provide health, safety and fitness benefits for Wellingtonians of all ages."
The $2.4 million hydrotherapy pool is expected to be heavily used. The warmer water in hydrotherapy pools can provide pain relief for conditions such as arthritis and can also help people recover from surgery or muscle injuries.
"There's been a real need for a dedicated hydrotherapy service in Wellington since 2005 when the existing facility at Wellington Hospital was decommissioned," says the Mayor.
At Karori Pool, the new $600,000 7m x 4m learner pool has been installed in an area which was previously an under-used outdoor courtyard. Councillor John Morrison, Sports and Events Portfolio Leader, says the pool will provide a dedicated, quieter environment for learners - which will help improve the quality of lessons and open up more space for swimmers in the main pool.
"Now we've got more Wellingtonians than ever taking swimming lessons, which is terrific both for fitness and water safety. Our approach is to free up space for lessons and allow our pools to cater for more people."
Two local school pools have also recently been upgraded with the help of a Council grant from our contestable School Pools Partnership Fund, which helps schools maintain and improve their pools for wider community benefit.
A $55,000 grant to Berhampore School helped to complete an upgrade last month that included new pipes, filters, pumps, a heater, paint for the changing sheds, and hot showers. A further grant of $69,000 assisted with a roof for the pool.
Last year Khandallah School constructed a new building to enclose its pool with the help of $420,000 from the same fund.
"By partnering with schools and helping them to raise funds from other sources, many more Wellingtonians can learn to swim," says Mayor Wade-Brown. "These are investments in the community that don't place the full cost on ratepayers."