INDEPENDENT NEWS

Keeping children swimming in Greta Valley

Published: Wed 31 Jul 2019 11:04 AM
Recent earthquakes and old age have left the swimming pool at Greta Valley School in need of some TLC. With the help of NZCT, pupils of the small rural school in North Canterbury and the wider community will continue to have access to the pool.
With the closest public pool over an hour’s round trip away, the school community were determined to fix their pool. “To lose such an asset, as many schools have, would be detrimental to our students. We are rural and our closest public pool is a 35-minute bus trip away,” says Board of Trustees Chairperson Kate Verrall. “Raising the funds to fix our pool was essential if we were to maintain this asset.”
Greta Valley School currently has 33 students from Year 0 to Year 8. The students love having access to the water and people from the surrounding area frequently use the pool over the warmer months. Waiswim, a learn-to-swim programme run by the Waimakariri District Council, travel up to give the children professional lessons in block courses.
“The teachers, board of trustees and the school community feel water skills and swimming instruction are essential to Kiwi children. With the amount of time our students spend in and around water, there is no doubt that all our children need to learn the skills to keep themselves safe,” says Kate.
However, this learning had been put in jeopardy with the deterioration of the school pool.
“Our pool has shown cracks for several years. The size of the cracks has increased after the recent earthquakes in the Kaikoura area and the leaking has become substantial. Along with the cracks, the pool is in need of a re-paint and new handrails. Our handrails have rusted to the point they are no longer safe to use despite attempts last summer from our school community to fix them,” says Kate.
NZCT is one of several community funders that have stepped up and contributed to this important project.
“We were delighted when we found out that our application to NZCT was successful,” says Kate. “It’s not that easy for our school to find the funds to cover big projects such as this.”
“We are very grateful for the support we have received from NZCT.”

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