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Visitors declining: Wentworthville Swim Centre. Visitors declining: Wentworthville Swim Centre.
04 January 2015 Posted by 

SUPER SWIM CENTRE MAKING WAVES

As numbers decline at three pools

HOLROYD residents, it seems, are not as keen to get in the swim as they have been in the past - at least not locally.

In fact, according to Holroyd Council, figures, the numbers of people attending Merrylands, Wentworthville and Guildford pools has decreased steadily over the past 35 years.

The council hopes to make water play and swimming more popular in the city by putting all their splash into the one pool - a super swim centre at Merrylands.

The move to close Wentworthville and Guildford pools has met with sustained opposition from those people who are regular users. But Mayor Greg Cummings said there were not enough regular swimmers at those centres to justify keeping them open.

“The figures speak for themselves,” Clr Cummings said.

“Our figures show there has been a dramatic 48 per cent decline in the number of people using the local swimming pools over the past 35 years, despite an increase in population.”

Council figures show that in 1966, the pools had 219,976 entries with a population across the LGA of 65,983. With the inclusion of Merrylands Pool in 1968, entries rose to a high of 408,296 in 1969.

Following the addition of Guildford Pool in 1978, usage stabilised at around 350,000, but from the mid-1980s, patronage started to dramatically decline even though the population of the LGA was increasing.

The decline accelerated in the mid 90's with 1994 being the last year that more than 300,000 entries were recorded for council's pools, and by the year 2000, use was down to 240,000 with a population of around 85,000.

By 2010/11, the population in the LGA had reached 100,00 yet attendance figures still continued to decline to under 200,000 annual visits across the three pools, a trend of declining patronage has continued up until last season.

Clr Cummings said the release of the data follows the conclusion of council's community consultation on design options for a proposed Aquatic Wellness Centre at Merrylands.



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Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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