7 October 2022

Griffith outdoor pool reopens with aqua classes as Indigenous swim program continues

| Oliver Jacques
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Griffith outdoor pool staff at pool

Fitness club coordinator Casey Payne, senior pool attendant Tim Rice, Splash Swim School coordinator Corinne Farronato, Bambigi founder and lifeguard Piper Stewart and new centre manager Craig Tilston. Photo: Supplied.

Griffith’s near-new 50-metre outdoor swimming pool reopened to the public on Tuesday 4 October after it was closed over winter. The pool, built in 2020 and opened in February 2021, is part of the Griffith Regional Aquatic Leisure Centre (GRALC), which also includes three heated indoor pools (a 25-metre 10-lane pool, a four-lane program pool, a toddler’s pool) and a heated 10-seater spa.

Piper Stewart, the Griffith teenager who invented the “Bambigi” program offering subsidised swimming lessons for Indigenous children, said her initiative would continue at the pool during term four. The Bambigi program has taught more than 300 children how to swim since 2018 and will offer lessons to eight more students from October through to December.

READ MORE Piper’s Bambigi program teaches 300 Indigenous Riverina children how to swim

“Swimming is the best activity in the world. It’s fun and a skill that could save your life or someone else’s life one day. I believe everyone should learn to swim. So, whether you’re a beginner swimmer or an experienced swimmer get to the pool as often as you can and just keep practicing,” Ms Stewart said.

Piper Stewart standing on street

Piper’s program has taught 300 kids to swim. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

New GRALC manager Craig Tilston is thrilled to see the pool ready for use.

“The pool and surrounds are looking fantastic and the team cannot wait to see swimmers, both lap and recreational, back in the water,” he said.

“The feedback we received to our 50-metre pool last season was positive and the number of inquiries around when it will be opening indicates that this season will be nice and busy. There are already a couple of large carnivals booked in and we are hoping the majority of our schools will make use of the 50-metre pool for their carnivals as well.”

Mr Tilston said locals could look forward to some new additions.

“We are really happy to advise that following feedback from patrons, the fitness club will be introducing some deep water aqua classes this summer,” Mr Tilston said.

“There are also plans to look at running a social water polo competition this summer as a result of feedback received from our open day earlier this year. With the increasing number of Splash Swim School enrolments for the coming term, the availability of the 50-metre pool for our regular lap swimmers will be a huge plus.”

“So come on down, use the BBQ, have a sunbake on our fantastic grounds and enjoy a swim in any one of our four pools here at GRALC.”

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Griffith Mayor Doug Curran welcomed the reopening ahead of summer.

“The outdoor pool will be a great place to cool down and have some fun. GRALC has such a wide range of programs and activities. I urge everyone to take advantage of what’s on offer,” he said.

The outdoor pool is open from 6 am every day. For more information, follow the Griffith Regional Aquatic and Lesuire Centre Facebook page or contact the centre on (02) 6962 8228.

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