For the fourth year in a row, swimmers will enjoy free entry to public swimming pools in Darlington Point, Coleambally and Jerilderie.
The move to waive the entry fees for pools in the Murrumbidgee Shire was made back in 2019 as a means to boost the well-being of residents as the area faced the effects of drought.
Now, having endured the effects of COVID and current cost of living crunch, Murrumbidgee Mayor Ruth McRae says its more important than ever council continue the trend.
"You would have to be living under a rock not to see how the cost of living effects people's ability to socialise and lead happy and healthy lives. If we, as a council, can help foster that by having free entry at pools, we're all for it," Cr McRae said.
"Council is very much aware we have three pools in our shire and that they are a really important part of the social fabric of our towns. We want them to be utilised as much as possible and that's why we continue to make a conscientious effort to provide them free of charge."
Cr McRae said council also has hopes of seeing the shire's pools upgraded sometime in the future.
"We're interested in getting a new pool installed at Jerilderie as well as upgrades at Darlington Point and Coleambally, particularly as a means to enhance the safety of those facilities," she said.
With the pool's set to open this Saturday, swimmers at Coleambally are welcoming a new managerial face to the outlet.
Local woman Di Kelly-Chirgwin will serve as manager of the Coleambally Pool from November to April 2024.
She praised council for once again allowing free entry at the three facilities.
"It gives locals the impetus to use the pools while also attracting those from outside the shire," she said.
Passionate about children learning to swim and enjoying the outdoors, she hopes to foster this during her tenure.
"My own children have always enjoyed swimming and I've spent a lot of time at the pool over the years," she said.
"We had a learn to swim program last weekend that saw the appointment of four swimming instructors for Coleambally.
"Children need to be able to swim - especially in our area with the number of water ways like irrigation channels. That's why instructors and volunteers are so important - it's absolutely invaluable, especially in small communities.
"In general, I'm also really passionate about seeing youngsters being active outside and keeping fit. It's certainly one of the things that attracted me to this role - to nurture that," she said.
Residents can expect the pool gates at Darlington Point, Coleambally and Jerilderie to be open from 9am this Saturday
More information on pool operating hours can be found on the shire's swimming pool Facebook pages.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.