Thames Centennial Pool gets gold accreditation 13 February 2019 The Swim Cool Swim School at our Council’s Thames Centennial Pool has been accredited with Swimming New Zealand’s highest-level Quality Swim School mark – Gold. Photo: Thames Centennial Pool staff delighted with life-saving equipment donated by Boat Safety New Zealand. “We previously held Bronze and we’ve jumped over Silver to achieve Gold,” Paul Dufty, our Council’s Recreation Manager, says. “This means that we deliver to the highest possible standards within the Swimming New Zealand structure. Our programme, regulatory and safety standards are the top in the country,” Mr Dufty says. “This is a big achievement for a small, rural pool.” Our pool also scored a coup with a grant of $8,000 worth of life-saving equipment donated by Boat Safety New Zealand. This gear, including the boat and life vests pictured, has now been incorporated into swim lessons to teach water safety and life-saving skills. These skills and resources are fundamental to our community as drowning is the number one cause of recreational death, the second highest cause of death as a result of unintentional injury among 1 – 24 year olds, and the third highest cause of accidental death (behind road accidents and falls). In 2018, 68 people lost their lives to preventable drownings and the five-year average is 82 fatalities. You can read more in the 2018 Preventable Drowning Report here. “Katrina Price, our Swim School Co-ordinator, is responsible for the growth of the swim school and put a tremendous amount of work into getting our gold award. The boat safety resources and program has also been driven by Katrina,” says Mr Dufty. "We deliver to over 350 swimmers per term, plus we have our school holiday lessons. We're at full capacity for our term one swim school and had to turn some late enrolments away." "If numbers continue to track the way they are we will look into opening up more classes in the future but this puts pressure on pool space for the general public and squads. We’re outgrowing the current pool,” Mr Dufty says. “The pool staff are doing the best they can with what they have got but are limited to how many people they can deliver to because of the current facility.” With Thames Centennial Pool needing to be replaced by 2027, we're moving forward with finding a site for the new swimming pool to replace Thames Centennial Pool, with a location at the south end of the Sir Keith Park Memorial Airfield in Thames chosen for further investigation. You can read more about the Thames replacement pool project here. The Thames Centennial Pool facility offers a range of learn to swim and training opportunities as well as ensuring space for relaxation and a bit of fun. See www.tcdc.govt.nz/swim for more information.