Saturday, 21 November 2015

Public swimming - my vantage point

The past two days I have posted from Roselands Aquatic Centre in Sydney. To finish this mini-series, here's a pic from my favourite spot.

Friends from overseas have commented in the past that our public pools are like "resorts", and I guess we are blessed to have them. I have sought-out public pools in many of my travels and enjoyed them in England, Barcelona, the US (Scotsdale, Arizona, and New York, and looked in Los Angeles) , France (Paris and Avignon), Monte Carlo, Budapest. 

None have come close to the facilities we enjoy - free barbecues, picnic tables, clean and tidy change areas etc. In lots of places entry is either expensive, or time-limited - eg a 2 or 3 hour session. Roselands charges $6 for an adult, $4.50 child/pensioner/concession, $2 non-swimming parent; $20 family (max 5). I pay $100 for a 20-visit pass. And for that you can stay from opening to closing - 6am to 8pm Mon-Fri; 7:30am-5pm Sat/Sun/Public Holidays.

Many public pools were built in the 1960s and 70s (in the wake of the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956), and now need re-investment. There's always a battle to protect them as they age and councils need to find the funds. The reason I am swimming at Roselands is because my local pool is being re-built...after a long-fought battle with the local Council, which we won! 

I much prefer these outdoor 50 metre pools, which increasingly are heated to enable year round swimming. Many centres, such as Roselands, also have 25 m indoor pools - great for swimming lessons throughout the year, and for those preferring the slightly warmer indoor pool (30 deg C....outdoor is 25 deg C) .

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