HOBART AQUATIC MASTERS CLUB SPLASH MEET
New Norfolk Olympic Pool.
Sunday 14 January 2024.
After a hiatus of some 20+ years, Masters swimming returned to the New Norfolk Olympic Pool when the Hobart Aquatic Masters Club staged a SPLASH Meet on Sunday 14 January.
TAC Club President Ian Shuey was happy to report that the SPLASH Meet ran without a hitch. “No disqualifications, appeals or general questionable conduct were reported at the recent New Norfolk SPLASH Meet,” he proudly announced. “All in all, it was a great workout and a bundle of laughs and camaraderie for the 25 swimmers from the Hobart Aquatic, Dolphins and Talays Masters clubs.”
The 50m ‘Thong Race’ provided entertainment for both swimmers and spectators. After feet first entries, many were seen scrambling to recover their thongs for the first 25m, which then proved a great hand paddle asset for the remaining 25 metres. The 4 x 50 T Shirt mixed medley relay provided a challenge with swimmers swapping T-shirts in the water – not so difficult in the shallow water, but a bit trickier at the deep end.
Most travelled from Hobart at a leisurely pace, however Michele and Anthony Kline demonstrated their enthusiasm, cycling 37Ks each way to and from New Norfolk, plus competed in a dozen commendable swims.
The New Norfolk Olympic Pool is another 60s-built pool which emerged out of the public’s concern for the rising number of drownings in the River Derwent. The people of New Norfolk decided that the time had come to have their own 55-yard, six lane Olympic Swimming Pool. Fundraising campaigns and planning took place, but the cost of a pool seemed prohibitive. At the time, it was rumoured that the new Olympic Pool built on Hobart’s Domain had cost six times as much as had been raised in New Norfolk after many years of effort.
However, the local council made some land available, on the town’s Esplanade. The State Government matched the money raised pound-for pound and with a fortuitous tender from the Australian Newsprint Mill the building of the pool went ahead, with the tenderer adding the concrete block dressing rooms and a kiosk as a bonus.
Although not yet heated, the pool was officially opened on 22 December 1963 at a gala day of glorious sunshine attended by thousands who watched a young Dawn Fraser swim a lap of honour. Once the opening ceremony was complete, the crowd enjoyed strawberries and cream with their cups of tea.
The New Norfolk AUSSI Masters Swimming Club was established in 1990 and used the Olympic Pool as well as a 25-metre pool at the Royal Derwent Hospital. ‘The Whales’ were an active and enthusiastic group and twice hosted MST Summer Championships, as well as regular Twilight interclub meets. The Club disbanded in 2002.
Congratulations to the Hobart Aquatic Masters Club for putting this Meet together and we hope that this will become a regular event.