New pool good for training but not championships:  Swimming Victoria boss

BALLARAT’S new 50-metre indoor heated pool may be able to hold training camps for national teams that travel to Australia for swimming meets.

However Swimming Victoria chief executive officer Warwick Waters said it was unlikely the proposed eight-lane pool would be big enough to host any major state or national swimming championships.

Last week, City of Ballarat councillors voted to build the proposed $9 million Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre with a constant depth of 1.85 metres.

Arguments for changing the pool from a variable depth (from 1.35 metres to 1.85 metres) to a constant depth have included the potential to host major championships.

Mr Warwick said the proposed pool was probably best suited to hosting regional swimming meets.

“We have a number of country championships which we move around the state. It would meet some of the criteria to hold those,” he said.

“Probably more importantly, one of the things we try and do with regional facilities is to be able to bring training camps for international and interstate teams.”

Mr Waters said Geelong had played host to some international teams in recent years.

He also said the centre would be a boon for local clubs, which would be able to host meets that attract swimmers from across the state.

“A lot of our regional clubs are prepared to travel to compete in good facilities,” he said.

The proposed pool will also come with a two-metre movable boom to allow the pool be divided into two 25-metre pools or to create a 33-metre pool for use as a water polo venue.

Mr Waters said other aquatic sports would welcome the opportunity for a new venue to hold competitions.

“I know across all aquatic sports there are less and less facilities that can cater for their sport because they have a greater community focus,” he said.

FILE PIC: The new swimming pool construction site at the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre.

FILE PIC: The new swimming pool construction site at the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre.