Crowds flock to Ballarat swimming pools

AS THE city sweltered and fires burned to the west of Ballarat yesterday, throngs of people took the opportunity to cool off at Ballarat’s pools.

At the Black Hill pool, the only one in Ballarat to boast a diving board, hundreds of people arrived to take a dip.

Pool manager John Oates said it was comfortably the busiest day of the summer so far.

Traditionally one of the quieter pools in Ballarat, the small diving board proved a huge attraction, as well as the large grassed area, he said.

“On New Year’s Day, we had four people come through for the whole day. On the day after we had the same four come through. That was it,” he said.

“It’s been hectic today though. The diving board is the feature. That’s a huge attraction. People come from all over. People have no excuse not to come.”

Of those taking advantage of the brilliant sunshine were friends Lochlan Pett and Oscar Ford, both 12.

Oscar, from Wendouree, said he used to be a regular at the Wendouree pool before it closed down.

“At Wendouree, we couldn’t do flips or anything, so it’s almost better here,” he said.

Mr Oates said he expected the rest of the week to be just as busy, especially given the learn to swim program started just yesterday.