Towradgi sea pool to close for repairs

Therapeutic: Towradgi ocean pool regular Gary Power goes for a swim on Thursday.
Therapeutic: Towradgi ocean pool regular Gary Power goes for a swim on Thursday.

A band of Wollongong swimmers will be looking at other options for their daily dip when the 50-year-old Towradgi sea pool closes for repairs later this month.

Wollongong City Council will close the pool for up to six weeks while the wading pool stairs, walls and handrails are demolished and replaced.

The work will also include capping to the top of the main pool wall, and the replacement of the concourse to the south of the wading pool.

Corrimal real estate agent Phil Murray, a daily swimmer, said he was surprised to hear the pool needed repairs.

"To me, I think it's in pretty good condition," he said of his beloved daily swimming spot.

At 64, Mr Murray said he was probably the youngest of a devoted group of Towradgi pool swimmers who braved the water temperatures all year round.

Mr Murray said his swim at Towradgi was the highlight of his day.

"I've been doing it for 20 years, every day except for Sundays," he said.

"Every morning after I swim my first lap, I stand up and look around me and think, 'How good is this?'

"It's a tidal pool, so it gets a good flush out every day. It's therapeutic. I reckon it's the fountain of youth."

The pool is also part of the Great Ocean Pool Crawl, a fund-raising event where participants do a couple of laps in seven ocean pools from Coalcliff to Towradgi.

Mr Murray said Towradgi pool was unique in that it was slightly longer than the Olympic length of 50 metres.

He said the older pools were built to be 55 yards and many were shortened slightly to conform with the exact Olympic length.

"They never changed the pool at Towradgi. We took a tape measure down once and I won a case of beer over that."

The swimmers have discussed options for the six weeks that the pool will be closed.

Mr Murray said on calm days he would swim "out to the wreck" off Corrimal Beach and on rough days he would go to the Continental pool.

Council's recreation services manager Mark Bond said the renewal work on the wading pool was essential to prevent the pool from becoming unsafe or unusable.

"This is an example of another piece of the city's ageing infrastructure that is deteriorating," he said.

The rock pool was officially opened by Mayor Albert Squires in October 1964.

The duration of the works, expected to begin late May, will be subject to tides and weather.


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