Ballarat Gold Swimming Club president Anthony Hoffman says Ballarat’s new swimming pool should be enjoyed by the whole community.
Advocating a variable water depth, Mr Hoffman said when lobbying the City of Ballarat for the facility the argument was always to provide a community pool.
“I love the argument we’re having about pool depth rather than ‘should there be a pool?’,” he said.
“Overall, this is a win-win for swimming.”
Mr Hoffman said the proposed 1.35-metre to 1.85-metre-deep swimming pool was not world-class but it was still a high quality facility for the entire community.
A variable depth pool was the recommendation of the council’s 50m pool advisory committee including councillors, representatives of the YMCA and swimming clubs.
“It can be quite confronting having quite a deep pool,” Mr Hoffman, a member of the committee, said.
“We want to make sure the pool itself is able to be used by all members of the community.”
But a uniform-depth swimming pool could potentially be built for an extra $100,000 with little impact on the project’s delivery timetable, council staff say.
It comes after councillor John Burt drove a last-minute bid to redesign the $9 million pool, claiming a uniform 1.85-metre depth would have far more potential as a community resource.
Mr Hoffman said a third option still on the table, a pool with a bottom that moves up and down, would be ideal and still come in under the original budget.
“If they’re prepared to spend the money and it still comes under budget, why not?” he said.
“It caters for everyone and there are no complaints.”
Mr Hoffman said the pool was never going to be used by elite swimmers 24/7 and would mainly be accessed by the community for recreational purposes.
He said when it came to attracting big competitions to Ballarat, water depth was only one factor considered with the seating capacity of the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre the biggest roadblock to drawing large national and international events.
He said swimming in Ballarat currently needed to have a push and hopefully the new facility might be able to provide that boost.
“It’ll be one of the best regional pools in Victoria,” he said,
“As far as swimming goes, it’s so exciting.”