Holroyd principals say community pools vital 

HOLROYD school principals fear students will boycott learn to swim programs at the proposed Aquatic Wellness Centre in Merrylands because of the cost.

If Holroyd Council approves plans for the aquatic centre, this would also result in the closure of Wentworthville Memorial Swimming Centre and Guildford swim centre.

Principal of Wentworthville Public School Deborah Henderson said she felt "sad" and "disappointed" at the proposed closure of the community pools.

"It would cost an extra $50-$60 to bus students to a pool and it could cost another $30 just to use the aquatic centre," Ms Henderson said.

"It would have a detrimental affect on many of our students and their families who cannot afford to pay for their child to go to the aquatic centre.

"We have more than 120 children who attend our swim scheme every year and I fear many of them won't be able to attend the learn to swim program if we have to bus students over to Merrylands.

"At the moment we don't have to organise a bus. We walk to the pool."

Principal of Westmead Public School Adrian Mort agreed.

"Wentworthville Memorial Swimming Pool is a vital part of the community," Mr Mort said.

"For a school like Westmead, which has a large number of non-swimmers, it is vital that students have access to a local learn-to-swim program.

"If we have to go outside the area bus costs will go up.

"The costs of the lessons and the bus may prohibit some students from participating."

But Guildford Public School principal Peter Lawless said in a council statement the community needed a bigger pool with improved facilities.

"We need a centre that can attract more parents into enrolling their children into learn to swim classes; the provision of play areas for children and care for infants while their parents are involved in swim classes," he said.

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