Adults need to assist children as they launch into backstroke at the Clermont Pool
Adults need to assist children as they launch into backstroke at the Clermont Pool

NO DIVING: Council takes starting blocks

IT is a strange look, that’s for sure.

Parents kneeling poolside at their local pool during swim training, holding their children’s hands as they get ready to push off the wall into backstroke.

Normally there would be starting blocks for swimmers to hold onto, but not at the Clermont Pool - not anymore.

Blocks have been removed, as have many others around the state, following independent safety audits deeming them unsafe.

One disgruntled community member Jennifer Oswald took to Facebook.

“I bet no one has seen diving blocks like this before,” she posted on top of photos of parents standing in as starting blocks.

“This is what we have to do on swim club nights because council removed our diving blocks.”

Her post was signed off with a series of hashtags including #whydowepayrates, #putourblocksback, and #poorkids.

Plenty of commenters were quick to jump on board questioning why Isaac Regional Council removed the blocks. Some even questioned whether community members were given the chance to voice their opinions.

Isaac Regional Council chief executive Gary Stevenson said the council “needed to act” after receiving information from Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association regarding diving depth.

“Council understands that the removal of the swimming pool diving blocks has caused concern for pool users and coaches teaching swimming lessons as the pool season begins,” he said.

“Council apologises for the inconvenience caused however safety is paramount and we will continue to work with all stakeholders involved.”

Mr Stevenson said the diving blocks removed in July 2019 after a report from engineers found the blocks needed to be removed due to safety implications of a non-compliant pool depth.

The criteria were a minimum diving depth of a pool is 1.35m, but the Clermont Pool is 1.15m in depth at both ends.

“Council is currently investigating alternative solutions to assist with the coaching requirements of the Clermont swimming pool” he said.

Alternatives included low profile starting blocks and installing backstroke devices or to reinstall the old diving blocks and work with safety to create a suitable risk assessment.

Council said there was a backstroke bar installed at the other end of the pool.

In November 2017, three of the nine Sunshine Coast council-owned pools were found to be deep enough to keep using starting blocks following a council audit.