Centrepoint popular with families as crowds dive in

If it wasn't for the hard work of Lee Nankivell in the early 1960's, Blayney probably wouldn't have the swimming facility that it has.

A number of drownings at the time led the community to raise the necessary funds and build the pool which was reopened on Friday June 19.

Lee Nankivell's son Phil Nankivell and grandson Warwick Nankivell were guests of honour on Friday in a venue that bore little resemblance to that constructed in 1966.

"It used to be so cold when it was just an outdoor pool," laughed Warwick as he recalled the days before the roof and heating were installed.

When the roof and heating was installed in the early 2000's the builder Terry Blair was responsible for its construction and Nola Blair was there to bask in the new warmth that comes from the underfloor heating, and to gaze on her late husband's work.

"They've done such a great job of this," she said, "It really is a credit to everyone. The atmosphere in here is just so different to how it felt before."

Two of the first swimmers to complete a lap were Caitlin Knight and Brenda Simmons, both were keen to see the pool reopen, and were more than happy about the facility.

"It's just beautiful," Brenda said, "I come here five days a week and had been doing so until it closed for repairs.

"I really missed the isolation of swimming, being able to solve all the world's problems in such a peaceful environment."

Brenda added that the temperature was perfect for lap-swimmers, a view that Caitlin Knight totally agreed with.

"I work in Orange and I was going there to swim, but now I can come home to this so it makes it so much better," she said.

"The water is still refreshing without being too hot or cold, and that heavy chlorine smell isn't an issue."

The reopening of the pool has coincided with the recommencement of the group fitness classes, both in and out of the pool.

Tai Chi regular Lesley Barnes said that the classes play a big role in her and other regular's lives.

"Coming here, meeting with all the girls and just being a part of the community, it makes you feel great."

On Sunday the pool almost reached capacity with 80 people taking advantage of the fee-free period to test the waters.

POOL AREA - The pool will be limited to 100 people with reduced hours from 6am - 10am and 3pm - 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm Saturday and Sunday.

Users will need to sign in as part of COVID-19 controls.

No pre-bookings are needed and all users must use the pre-swim showers.

GYM AREA - Open from Saturday June 20 from 4.30am to 11pm every day.