THE debate over Tamworth’s lack of year-round aquatic facilities has heated-up once again, with the Tamworth City Swimming Club putting the pressure on council to provide for the growing region.
It’s an issue that has been bubbling away in Tamworth for decades, now the local swimming clubs are tired of treading water and said the region out-grew its current facilities 10 years ago.
President Grant Simm said the club were approached by Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) in June last year to provide their analysis of what a local aquatic centre should look like.
Mr Simm said they’re yet to receive a response.
“Our submission detailed current usage of the existing facilities, research highlighting that swimming remains the most common sporting activity in Australia, the demand for and how swimming events would be a significant economic driver for Tamworth,” Mr Simm said.
“Yet no response from council to date, it becomes frustrating to say the least.”
While the club emphasised the potential economic benefit of a year-round facility, he said it was also crucial for learn-to-swim skills programs.
“Currently these programs are crammed into such a narrow window, it’s just madness,” he said.
“We have simply outgrown the current facilities, to be blunt I think we out grew them 10 years ago.”
Vice-president Michelle Bolte said it was time for council to commit after decades of talk.
“We want plans and council to commit to a timeline and commit to facilitating the future needs,” Mrs Bolte said.
The club has found support in current councillor Juanita Wilson who said it simply “needs to happen”.
“We need a state-of-the-art facility that is up to competitive standards and is flexible and accessible for recreational use,” Cr Wilson said.
The councillor – who had the centre as priority during last year’s council election – said it’s one of the only missing pieces when it comes to Tamworth’s sporting facilities. “It should be at the top of the pile now,” she said.