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Carterton Swim Club dives into the mission to raise $1million

PHOTO/ELLIE FRANCO

Carterton Swim Club has long been a destination for the region’s up and coming swimmers.

Now it’s calling on the local community and some famous faces, to help raise the one million dollars needed to repair its much loved, and well used, indoor pool building.

Working Project Lead, Anna Beetham, said the repairs are vital because it is the only indoor pool in the South Wairarapa.

“We have swimmers that come from Martinborough, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and actually a lot that come from Masterton to train in this particular facility,” she said.

“The club’s got a really great reputation. It’s a really strong club and the swimmers that are coming out of it are exceptional.”

If the club can’t meet its financial target, there will be no indoor pool facility for schools, swimmers, aqua-jogging, pool key-holders and recreational fitness.

“I guess it’s coming to the point where it’s no longer safe. So it’s going to have to close, and that would be devastating for the community,” Beetham said.

With financial support hard to come by, the club decided to put on a number of events to bring in the crowds and some dollars.

 

The first event will be held this Sunday, March 13.

Some of those diving in for the cause are Tokyo 2020 Olympic swimmer, Lewis Clareburt; ex-Olympic swimmer and Raptors coach, Jonathan Winter; and Carterton’s Mayor, Greg Lang.

The main relays begin at 1.30pm, with international athletes and local politicians racing each other in the outdoor pool.

Although Mayor Greg Lang swims in his free time, he said he’s certainly nowhere near racing an Olympian.

“It’s all part of the fun and what [Clareburt]’s going to bring to the community on the day with coaching and just being around the swim club members and the wider community and the other teams would be fantastic, he said.

“It’s all in the spirit of it.”

Olympic swimmer Lewis Clareburt is also talking up his main opponent.

“From what I’ve heard he’s actually a pretty good swimmer,” he said.

“I’ve also heard that I’m not going to be wearing my normal swimming togs. I’m going to be wearing a few accessories on the side.

“So I think we’ll probably be on the same level,” he said.

There will be a rare opportunity for 20 local kids to be coached by Clareburt, and he has three training tips for aspiring swimmers:

“I’d make sure that I’m having fun as my first priority. I’m training hard, but I’m also being smart.

“I think if an athlete can tick all three of those boxes, then you can be successful.”

Due to the limited capacity of 100 tickets, the club is inviting donations for those who can’t attend on their givealittle page.

A 2019 Facilities Condition Report found that Carterton’s indoor pool building had significant structural and environmental issues, with the cost of repairs estimated at $1million.

But Beetham said regular fundraising methods have been affected by Covid-19.

“Those businesses that perhaps would have jumped on board without question are perhaps a little bit more cautious about that.

“I think the thing that we’d love to do with local businesses is have them there in shining lights within the new facility,” she said.

“It would be fantastic to then have a lane sponsored by X business, and have signage up and then be proud to be associated with the club.

“At the moment I can understand that it’s a horrible old rusting, derelict building. Why would you want to put your business signage on that?

“So hopefully that’ll bring some more sponsorship and we can have some sort of partnership with some local businesses.”

Ellie Franco
Ellie Franco
Ellie Franco is Wairarapa’s Local Focus video journalist. She regularly covers in-depth stories on arts, culture, people, health, and the occasional pup.

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