Sunday 28 March marked the last day of the shire’s 2020-2021 outdoor swimming pool season.
Swimming pools in Bemboka, Candelo, Cobargo and Eden have now all closed until spring, with the Bega War Memorial Pool open until Thursday 1 April due to scheduled programs and events.
The indoor Sapphire Aquatic Centre in Pambula will remain open throughout the coming cooler months.
Pools Coordinator Nic Hoynes said the year had been unusual and challenging at times, but the community had rallied to use the pools even under changed circumstances.
“It’s the end to a very unique season, having dealt with closures and booking systems to ensure safety of customers and staff amid a global pandemic and extreme weather events,” Mr Hoynes said.
“In spite of dealing with challenges beyond our control we have achieved a lot this year, keeping attendance up despite challenging circumstances, and a big increase in the delivery of learn-to-swim programs.
“It’s also been a real boost being able to deliver more programs for local schools thanks to NSW Department of Education funding.
“Additional funding has come from the Department of Regional NSW for the Summer Splash pool parties which were a real hit with the community.
“And a grant from the Sapphire Coast Youth Arts and Sports Development Fund has given the Bemboka community an aquatic volleyball net to expand on the activities run at the pool.
“Delivering a safe environment is always a priority, but this year having to implement strict COVIDSafe restrictions on pool users has meant staff members and contractors stepping up to meet the challenge.
“We pushed ahead with renewing the pool paint lining and finalising maintenance works at the Cobargo pool. It’s been a tough year for many in the Cobargo community, so delivering these pool improvements was a priority for us.
“And to acknowledge a year since the end of the Black Summer bushfires while saying a big thank you to everyone who supports their local pool, we invited the community to swim for free at the Bega Valley Free Swim Weekend this March.
“We look forward to being ready to reopen for another fantastic season next spring.”
For more information about the Bega Valley Shire pools, go to Council’s website.