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Why should Batemans Bay, with twice the population of Narooma or Moruya, lose its 50m pool

Dear Beagle Editor

Did you know that swimming is the number 1. participation sport in Australia, ahead of football, cricket and cycling? Why then are we thinking of getting rid of our Olympic sized pool in Batemans Bay where the majority of the Eurobodalla rate payers reside? Surely, we don’t need to sacrifice our 50m pool for a 25m pool and expect our budding Olympians to travel out of the Shire to train? That would be akin to asking the footy fraternity to be happy with a half size footy field or the cricket buffs to settle for a half size pitch. How much does council subsidise all the boys’ sports that are only used for half of the year? An indoor 50m heated pool would be used all year round by everyone, including all the footy codes. Surely we can do better Councillors?

Swimming is the most common sporting activity in Australia, with around 1 in 2 kids and 1 in 10 adults regularly taking the plunge, the latest National Sports Participation report from Roy Morgan Research shows.

Combining data for the year to December 2014 from the Single Source survey of Australians aged 14+ and the Young Australians survey of kids aged 6-13 shows that overall 1 in 7 Australians regularly go swimming (14.4%), while nearly 1 in 9 go cycling (10.8%) and 1 in 12 play soccer (8.2%).

Just under half of kids 6-13 regularly go swimming (48.8%) or play soccer (48.7%), followed in popularity by cycling (37.7%), athletics/track & field (31.7%), basketball (30.5%) and dancing (30.3%). Just over 1 in 4 kids play cricket regularly (25.7%) and around 1 in 5 play netball (20.5%) or tennis (20.0%).

Gymnastics (18.1%) and Australian Rules football (17.9%) come in at 10th and 11th most popular, with 12th and below all with participation rates under 10% of kids: Hiking/Bushwalking (9.5%), Rugby League (9.3%), softball (8.9%), martial arts (8.8%), volleyball (7.7%), baseball (6.7%) and field hockey (5.9%), with around 1 in 20 kids regularly going off roller-blading/skating (5.2%) or horse-riding (4.9%).

Coral Anderson

Former school state swimming representative

#Opinion #BatemansBay

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