Swimskool owner debunks swim club claims

SWIMSKOOL owner Vivienne Peate has rejected claims local swimmers are disadvantaged due to inadequate training facilities in Mount Gambier.

Her comments follow a story printed in The Border Watch on August 3, which quoted Mount Gambier Swimming Club coach Julie Moran.

The swimming coach said while swim clubs were grateful to train at Swimskool during winter, swimmers were unable to practice all of the necessary skills required to compete at swim meets.

Ms Moran welcomed the proposed multi-million dollar sports and recreation centre – with early concept plans featuring a 25 metre indoor heated pool – given lane space at Swimskool was “limited”.

“I have chosen to stay above the fray because anything I say as a business owner in the swimming industry will be construed as sour grapes,” Mrs Peate said this week.

“However, I feel Swimskool has been misrepresented and the comments have damaged my relationship with the club.”

While Mrs Peate conceded swimmers were unable to dive at Swimskool, she rebuffed claims about limited training times.

“My two daughters were both Blue Lake Y club members and learned to dive here before the international authority imposed restrictions on pool depths,” she said.

“Diving is the only thing the swimmers can’t do here due to FINA rules.

“As for practicing turns, it’s a 25 metre pool – they do nothing but practice turns, more so than in a 50 metre pool.

“I love seeing the children train and I bend over backwards to give the clubs what they need. They train three mornings out of six and for four nights out of five, the swimming clubs have either two lanes or the entire pool at their disposal – to say they have limited training times is grossly unfair.

“I often have to turn sporting clubs away because of my commitment to Blue Lake Y Swim Club and Mount Gambier Swimming Club.”

Mrs Peate said an included photograph of swim club members at her pool was taken without her knowledge or permission.

“The irony is that the photograph was taken in my pool – a facility that is apparently inadequate – and yet they used the photo for the article,” she said.