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Midwinter dip has residents dipping into their pockets

Swimmers gathered after their dip to cook marshmallows on bonfires. PHOTOS/GRACE PRIOR

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Carterton community members gathered on the banks of the Ruamahanga River on Sunday for a brisk midwinter dip to raise funds for the town’s indoor pool.

Carterton Mayor Greg Lang’s annual swim raked in more than $5000 in donations by the end of the day, with more still trickling in.

The event’s Givealittle page said the pool provided a year-round swimming venue, improving recreational opportunities, particularly for young people and elderly residents.

“A 2019 facilities condition report found that the pool building has significant structural and environmental issues which must be addressed.

“Additional funding is required to enable the indoor pool to be upgraded to ensure the longevity of this important community asset.”

One Givealittle donor said the Carterton Swimming Club had supported the community for years and worked tirelessly to coach children and adults.

“The club also allows the community to use the facility after hours for people’s own wellbeing and fitness. We need to support this worthy facility.”

Another donor said they did not want to lose the “treasure” of the indoor pool.

The event’s Facebook page said if the fundraising goal of $10,000 was hit, Lang would swim in the nude.

The Times-Age can confirm Lang wore Speedos.

Lang was joined in the water by about 20 brave residents, while about 50 others watched from the comfort of the shore.

He said the dip formed part of Carterton’s Matariki celebrations.

Carterton Swimming Club said if its fundraising target was met, it would use the money to initiate the design stage and go to tender to secure an architect for the pool’s upgrade.

“If our target goal is not met, the money will be used to maintain the building as-is for as long as possible.”

By Tuesday night, $6395 had been donated.

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