THE swimming season at Foster Outdoor Pool came to an end for another year on March 13 after a very successful summer.
“Attendances were very good this summer,” said the president of the pool committee, Ian Lyon, clearly delighted. “And the YMCA did a good job of managing the pool this year. They were more pro-active. That combined with the hot weather we enjoyed for much of the summer made for a great 2015/16 season.”
The preparations for the December opening of the pool were carried out well in advance, said Mr Lyon, which meant that the new solar mats on top of the change rooms were able to ensure the pool water temperature was just right on the opening day – and throughout the season.
The future of the pool had been under a cloud in recent years, with South Gippsland Shire Council concerned about the cost of running half a dozen outdoor pools across the shire. Local communities, however, including Foster’s, soon let Council know how much they value their swimming pools, and the pools have been given a reprieve.
“Once it was confident that the pool was no longer under threat of closure, Council invested in new solar mats and overhauled the treatment plant,” said Mr Lyon.
Another factor in the success of the 2015/16 season was the decision to drop the temperature at which the pool could open, from last year’s 26 degrees, regarded by many as unnecessarily high, to the more reasonable daytime forecast temperature of 25 degrees.
“Members of the community, particularly the kids, have really appreciated the change to the opening temperature rule,” said Mr Lyon. “Another improvement has been extending the pool closing time from 6pm to 7pm, and even as late as 8pm on very hot nights.”
The pool committee, said Mr Lyon, would like to give a vote of thanks to the YMCA contracted staff who have worked at Foster Pool this year, particularly Harley and Kerry. “They did an excellent job managing the pool,” he said.
Foster Pool opened early on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for a regular group of lap swimmers. These sessions were well attended. Meanwhile, the YMCA introduced water aerobics on Wednesday mornings and these sessions proved quite popular with a regular group and will possibly be expanded next year.
The pool is particularly popular with the local schools. Both Foster Primary and South Gippsland Secondary College appreciated their students being able to participate in swimming classes and inter-house competitions without needing to be bussed out of town.
In a season which was overall very successful, one of the few lowlights was the lack of a monster inflatable. “Unfortunately, Foster Pool’s monster inflatable is no longer compliant with Australian Standards for a pool the size of Foster,” said Mr Lyon. “However, enquiries will be made about a suitable replacement for next season.”
Mr Lyon expressed particular thanks to the three Foster businesses which sponsored the pool and in doing so enabled quite a number of visiting tourists to enjoy a swim there. They include Foster’s Prom Central Caravan Park, the Comfort Inn, and Warrawee Units and Backpacker Lodge. “We greatly appreciate their support in encouraging people to make the most of Foster Pool,” said Mr Lyon.
Foster Outdoor Pool is expected to re-open for the 2016/17 season in December.