Olympians to make a splash at centenary

By tessa.johnstone@age.co.nz, Tessa Johnstone


Despite a recent pool closure scare, Featherston people have not been put off celebrating 100 years of swimming in the community and are looking forward to 100 more.

Featherston Amateur Swimming Club is gearing up for centenary celebrations on December 8-9, which will see Olympians Jonathan Winter and Danyon Loader swimming a few laps and people coming from throughout the country, and Australia, to take part.

Event co-ordinator Julie Collins said it will be a celebration of 100 years of community involvement, a history she has been pulling together through former members' recollections.

"Once you start talking to those people they tell you stories about how they associate the pool ... they hung out at the pool, they were there as soon as it opened to when it was closed. These days you go in for a swim and go home, it's not as community oriented as it was."

Club patron Phillis Murphy, 88, who has been swimming at Featherston pool since she was 6, will be a part of the celebrations and be reunited with people she has taught - and rescued - over the years.

Featherston's first public pool opened in 1912 on Hickson St. It took the community 19 years to fundraise for the existing pool in Johnston Street, opened in 1968.

Club president Jo Johnson said the club is stronger than ever. "People with kids support the pool, maybe not as many adults as such, but they're definitely behind their kids coming and knowing it's a safe environment."

www.sportsground.co.nz/featherstonswim

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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