People are now allowed to swim laps at the region’s swimming pools but recreational swimming is not allowed at this time.
People are now allowed to swim laps at the region’s swimming pools but recreational swimming is not allowed at this time.

People’s passion for pools evident on first weekend

THE first weekend with the region’s swimming pools open again proved successful despite a few teething problems, with dozens of people turning up for a dip.

Both the Bowen and Proserpine pools reopened on Saturday in line with the relaxed coronavirus restrictions, with stage one of the government’s roadmap to recovery stating a maximum of 10 people are allowed at a swimming pool at one time.

The pools are open for lap swimming and exercise only, with recreational swimming not allowed at this time and the children’s play area closed. Collinsville pool is currently closed for the winter break.

Council’s director of community services Julie Wright said despite the weather not being great, the first weekend had been very successful despite a communication breakdown early on Saturday.

“It was a good weekend, I think everybody was keen to get back in the water,” she said.

“Proserpine was quite chuffed with their figures – 25 people on Saturday and, at one stage, they had all six lanes with people swimming laps.

“Given the weather wasn’t great, we were pleased. On Sunday, the weather was a little bit better and by lunchtime they had much improved figures compared to Saturday.

“Bowen also had good figures – they were both happy with their numbers.”

Bowen’s figures have kept climbing, with 21 patrons on Saturday, 30 on Sunday, a dip to 12 on Monday but then a hike to 31 on Tuesday and 35 on Wednesday.

Proserpine pool, meanwhile, welcomed 25 swimmers on Saturday, 11 on Sunday, 13 on Monday, 25 on Tuesday and 17 on Wednesday.

Ms Wright said a “communication breakdown” had led to Proserpine pool not having a sign-in sheet early on Saturday morning but it was sorted by mid-morning.

Regular swimmer Graham Bolton, from Bowen, was not pleased there was no sign-in form at the pool and was annoyed that, with coronavirus, there was no record of name, address and phone numbers kept on the first day it was open.

Mr Bolton said other people were swimming at the pool at the time, and he did not see any sign-in forms laid out while he was there, so he believes they were swimming and hadn’t entered their information.

He says he asked a male staff member at the gate about the form, who waved his hand in the air and said “I’ll fix that up”.

“It’s just not acceptable, I didn’t fire back – I could have,” Mr Bolton, who went swimming at about 6.45am, said.

“The way I was spoken to, the lack of forms, people need to be notified. It’s the first day and that’s how you’re treated.”

Ms Wright said it they had the forms but it was a communication breakdown with staff.

“We did have the forms but there was a bit of mis-communication with the staff at the Proserpine pool and the staff didn’t realise they had to sign in people – it kicked in mid-morning that day,” she said.

“They have kept the names and contact numbers since. It was a breakdown of communication.”

Ms Wright said it would be interesting to see what this weekend would bring.

“If it’s right what the weatherman is saying, Saturday is going to one of those terrible days, but if the sun comes out it could be better on Sunday,” she said.

“We are not expecting great things with the weather being not so good this weekend - we’ll see how things go.”

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