Plunge in for warm winter swims

COME on in, the water's lovely.

That's the message to the region's recreational and elite swimmers, as winter approaches. Because the heating system has been switched on at Rockhampton's new Olympic pool.

It will be open 5.30am-6.30pm each day until the end of May, when the council will reassess opening hours, based on the amount of use.

Cr Cherie Rutherford, chairwoman of sports and recreation, said the region's pools normally closed on Anzac Day and remained out of bounds until spring.

But swimmers now have no excuse for hanging up their bathers for a seasonal break ... if they don't mind taking a cold shower, that is.

As the Southside swimming complex is still being developed, there's no hot water in the changing facilities.

"Although the water will be a constant 27C, early morning swimmers might want to make sure they have plenty of warm clothes available, when they get out into the cold air," said Cr Rutherford.

"Unfortunately, it will be a bit of a construction site at times over the next two years, until all the work is finished.

"But those who have been using the pool say it's lovely and I want to encourage as many people as possible to come along and enjoy it."

She said the pool was the only FINA compliant competition facility in regional Queensland.

"(It's) a great step forward, towards our goal of making Rockhampton the most liveable region in Australia," she said.

"At the end of May we will look at the hours it should be open, for the remainder of winter."

Users will pay the same fees to swim there, as they have in the unheated pool.



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