PROMINENT Ballarat swimming coach Morgan Murphy believes Ballarat should aim to increase its aquatic activities and for this to be achieved a uniform depth pool is key.
Supporting a 1.85- metre constant depth facility, Mr Murphy said it was not about catering for an elite few but creating new aquatic programs for the whole of community.
He said the YMCA was built on a platform of empowering healthy youth and now had an opportunity to promote new programs targeting young people.
These included water polo, water running and synchronised swimming.
“We want a facility that is going to advance the aquatic facilities of Ballarat,” he said.
“It’s not to benefit the elite, it will be of advantage to young people wanting to advance their health and fitness.”
Mr Murphy said much had been made of the “uniform depth” case being based on the prospect of attracting state, national and international aquatic activities to Ballarat, but this was never part of his argument.
The new facility in Ballarat with spectator capacity of 800 maximum had no prospect of staging national events but would instead provide scope for expansion and introduction of new aquatic activities for the Ballarat community.
“Whether the facility is 1.35 or 1.85m deep, it can really only be safely used by those who can swim,” he said.
“Water Polo Victoria, they’ll move heaven and earth to establish water polo in regional centres.
“You have 300 competition swimmers training in Ballarat and each year a number drop out of the sport and fall away from aquatics activities. A lot of them would love to step into water polo.”
Mr Murphy said there were also exciting possibilities around water running, where participants used flotation devices to mimic the movement of running in a weightless environment.
Mr Murphy said establishing such programs would bring new groups of regular users into Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre to ensure the facility was used to maximum capacity.