A GROUP of Creswick residents is fighting for the development of a swimming pool at the Doug Lindsay Recreation Reserve.
Creswick’s only swimming facility is the Calembeen Park – a swimming hole many locals say is unsafe and not suitable for families.
The group driving support for the vision, the Creswick and District Aquatic Centre, wants a 25-metre heated swimming pool and hydrotherapy facility to be built at the sporting reserve and is busy garnering support from Creswick residents, business and community groups.
Creswick and District Aquatic Centre committee members say swimming pools play an important role in communities – they’re not only a place too cool off in the summer, but serve as a town hub, a place for people to learn how to swim and for people to recover from injuries.
Group secretary Julie Moran said generations of Creswick residents had been demanding a swimming pool for a very long time and it was time something was done.
“There is no swimming pool here so the options are to travel to Clunes in the summer time when the outdoor swimming pool is open or they can drive to Ballarat,” she said.
“At one stage we had a swimming hole – Calembeen Park – but the council don’t maintain that as a swimming pool as such and people don’t take their children there to swim anymore.
“From the turn of the century to around the late 60s, that’s where people used to go to swim and people were reasonably satisfied with that then.
“But there’s no known bottom; you can’t actually swim in there and touch the bottom.
“It’s maintained to the degree that they cut the grass and it’s a picturesque picnic spot but it’s not a swimming pool. It’s certainly not a facility where you could have swimming lessons.
“What we’re talking about is developing a facility that every single person in the town could use – right from expectant mothers though to elderly people that need hydrotherapy.”
Group president Carol Cole hopes Creswick will one day host a swimming team, something the absence of a local swimming pool has cost the town.
She said building a pool at the recreation reserve would further cement the area as a sports hub.
“And having it here will mean the footballers and that could come and have a swim after training,” she said.
Ms Moran children had to travel to Ballarat to complete their school swimming programs.
“They have to fit in with the Ballarat Aquatic Centre’s timetable so the window of opportunity for them during the year is very narrow,” she said.
“We have three primary school’s in Creswick and a large elderly population with no hydrotherapy facilities at all.
“We also have an increasing younger population – we’ve now got a new kindergarten and childcare facility here so there’s no where for kids like this to swim from an early age unless their parents have got the means to take them into Ballarat.
“We’re also thinking that it will be something that doesn’t just service Creswick.
“This is a facility that will benefit the entire shire.
“There is absolutely no reason why people wouldn’t travel from Daylesford, particularly once you get things like swimming school sports competitions up and running.”
“It opens up a whole new area of sport that wasn’t here before.
Creswick and District Aquatic Centre is calling for the community to get behind the swimming pool push.
People can contact the group by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We hope to eventually have council support and then we will be looking for funding and key stake holders,” Ms Moran said.
“So that will be health departments, grants for health and wellbeing, aged care, federal funding, state funding... you name it.”
The group will host a fundraising event, If the Shoe Fits, at the Courthouse Theatre in Creswick on December 5 at 8pm.
Tickets to the evening of adult cabaret entertainment are available by phoning 5345 8280..