The popularity of our Saturday swimming sessions is well known, but Andrew 'Boy' Charlton Pool is now closed for the winter so we are trialing Saturday sessions at Cook and Phillip for the first time during May!
Location - Cook and Phillip Park Pool, 4 College St, Sydney NSW 2000
Session times - 10am to 11am Saturday 7th May, 14th May, 21st May.
Format - Two 50m lanes, each with a clear programme (one slower, one faster).
Cost - Casual Pool Entry = $7.20. Wett Ones Lane Hire Contribution = $5.00*
Why a new pool?
The Wett Ones committee has been discussing for several months the possibility of running swimming squad sessions at new pools around Sydney. This has been enabled by Belgravia taking over the operation of the indoor pools, on top of the outdoor pools which they already ran.
Saturdays are very popular among Wett Ones members, and attract a slightly different crowd to the sessions run at University of Sydney on other days. We are hoping that this crowd will consider continuing their Saturday swimming over the winter at Cook and Phillip, now that Boy Charlton pool is closed.
We chose Cook and Phillip because it is geographically the closest to ABC, and because we were able to secure the exact same time-slot at 10am on Saturdays. The club has previously attempted to continue Saturday sessions at outdoor pools over the winter with limited success and so we are hoping that running the sessions in an indoor pool with great access to the city and eastern suburbs will do well.
Why a trial during May?
This trial will initially be for the first three weekends in May. The fourth weekend in May is the Wett Ones Carnival (see the events page). If the trial is deemed as successful then we will continue these sessions throughout the winter season until Boy Charlton opens again and we can switch back to our favourite outdoor location!
The criteria for success will be for these sessions to break even financially. That is - the money coming in from swimmers ($5 each) must at least cover the cost of reserving the two lanes for Wett Ones.
Other Pool Plans?
The committee is discussing a variety of options to enable the club to better serve the needs of our current members, to better appeal to new members, and to improve our financial position. These discussions are ongoing, but expect to see more 'trials' in the coming months as we experiment with what works best.
As those of you who have been following our monthly committee updates will know, our Sunday sessions are the primary focus of these ongoing discussions at the moment, but other days and times are also within scope - such as an additional mid-week session to ease the crowding on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Sundays are a tricky one, and anyone on the committee will tell you that we are struggling to know what to do there. Having at least two lanes for an hour and a half at Sydney Uni pool is expensive, and having a coach on deck for all that time is very expensive, and currently we are nowhere near recouping those costs though $5 swimmer fees. We could continue as things are and run Sundays as a loss leader for the small group who love them, or we could explore different options to reduce the costs (different pool, only 1 hour, uncoached) and to increase attendance (new times and locations).
We have run a large members survey this year and a poll specifically about Sundays and neither helped us to draw real conclusions. The reality is that trialing new things for three or four weeks is the only real way we will know whether they will work. So we hope you support our initiative and feel free to provide your thoughts to the committee at any time!
*The cost of entry can be reduced by purchasing a 360 card (see 360card.com.au) but note that cards purchased previously at outdoor pools (like ABC) can't be used for Cook & Phillip because the rates were significantly lower. New cards work at any pool in the City of Sydney.
*Wett Ones offer a concession discount to anyone 26 and under, and anyone on a pension, on our annual membership and on our swimming fees. The $5 fee to pay for lane reservation is reduced to $2.50 for concessions.