Free entries for kids dry up

By, staff reporter

Thousands of children took advantage of free entry to Wanganui East Pool this summer.

A fundraising drive by the Wanganui East Pool Trust, which brought in $12,000, enabled about 5000 children, aged 13 and under, to swim at the pool free since it opened on January 5.

The trust's chairman, John Rhodes, said the response to the free-entry offer was fantastic.

However, the funding has run out and charges for children will be reinstated from today. Entry for preschoolers will be $1.50, and $3 for children aged 16 and under.

Mr Rhodes said he was delighted financial donors had given so many young people free entry to the pool.

The pool will remain open until Easter, by which time it is expected that more than 18,000 visitors will have been through the facility this summer.

In December, the control and operation of the pool was taken up by Sport Wanganui, after the trust failed to recruit enough qualified lifeguards.

Wanganui district councillor Ray Stevens said the Splash Centre staff who were managing the facility on behalf of the council, Sport Wanganui and the trust did a great job in making sure the community was able to keep using the pool.

"It's great to know so many young people and their families have enjoyed using this outdoor facility," he said.

School bookings are now the main focus for the pool; however, the facilities remain available for casual users after school and in the weekend.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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