Orange Aquatic Centre to host swimming championships and offer free entry on Australia Day

Entry to Orange Aquatic Centre will be free to all on Australia Day after the celebrations in Cook Park wrap up.

The Orange Aquatic Centre will be open from 12pm to 5pm on Australia Day and weather permitting, all inflatables including the 22.5 metre obstacle course will be up and running.

The offer of a free day at the pool was a decision by Orange City Council made in December.

The free day follows a closure of the pool to the public on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of January to host the NSW Country Regional Swimming Championships attended by about 450 swimmers from across the state.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said it was a boon to the local economy to host the Championships.

“The championship brings 450 swimmers, their parents as well as a range of officials which equates to about 900 people coming to Orange,” Cr Kidd said.

“That’s 900 people paying for accommodation, shopping at our local businesses, eating out and bringing our retailers a much needed post-Christmas boost.”

The event is being run to comply with all government requirements to ensure it is a COVID-19 safe event.

Orange City Council’s Sport and Recreation Committee Chair Jason Hamling said the pool would be open to the public for early morning lap swimming on the Saturday from 5.30am to 7.45am.

“Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 restrictions placed on the centre, we can’t accommodate the general public for recreational swimming on that weekend,” Cr Hamling said.

“We’re lucky in our part of the world we have beautiful Lake Canobolas with its beach which is also available for swimming and will certainly be available the weekend of the 23rd and the 24th of January.

“Orange Aquatic Centre hours will be back to normal after that weekend and we’ve seen a great response from kids on school holidays to the large inflatables we’ve had set up at the centre nearly every day.

“With the weather warming up after a fairly cool start to summer, it’s great we have this wonderful facility which can accommodate the needs of all ages and skill levels.

“The annual Australia Day celebrations in Cook Park will wrap up at about midday on January 26, which is perfect timing for the opening of the pool on that day.

“We will have a 5 metre slide inflatable in the diving pool, weather permitting, the 22.5 metre obstacle closure as well as a range of smaller inflatables in the indoor 25 metre pool.

“It’ll be a great family fun day and I hope many people can make it out to the park to congratulate our Citizens of the Year and our newest Australian citizens and then swing by the pool for a cool-off.”

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