Back with a splash

2020-01-14 06:01
Trafalgar swimming pool has been reopened after a three-year closure. PHOTO: Samantha Lee-Jacobs

Trafalgar swimming pool has been reopened after a three-year closure. PHOTO: Samantha Lee-Jacobs

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Perfectly framed by Table Mountain, sits soft, green grass and crystal-blue waters.

This as the Trafalgar swimming pool facility was officially reopened following a renovation project that was three years in the making.

The world-class facility was reopened to the public on Friday 10 January with residents lining up to enjoy the facility.

“We are happy to re-open what is essentially a new pool,” said Mayco member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien.

The pool has been re-tiled, has new piping and filtration systems, and has been switched from a scum channel to a rim flow. The grass has also been replaced. The upgrades began in 2019 to the tune of R3.1 million despite the facility initially being closed for maintenance in 2017.

“The City is committed to providing quality facilities for our residents and visitors, and the work done at the Trafalgar swimming pool bears testament to that commitment.

“We have yet to hit the peak of summer, so there is still plenty of good weather on the way for visitors to enjoy the new-look facility,” said Badroodien.

Dave Bryant, councillor for ward 115, says the upgrading of the pool was one of the first issues raised with him when he became the councillor in 2016.

One of the residents who rallied for this was Nadiema Safter.

“I have lived in Woodstock my whole life and in 40 years of using the facility, it had not been closed once for renovations. I was sad when they closed the pool but, thinking it would be a short time, it was devastating when the pool had to be closed for three years. We then had to travel to Sea Point and Long Street pools. I stayed on top of the development because I did not want to see this become a white elephant,” said Safter to People’s Post.

“I am now so proud and happy that we can come home and enjoy this facility. This is a world-class facility and we were worried it would affect the price but the City has shown us they are caring for the needs of underprivileged areas by keeping the prices the same.”

The pool can accommodate 750 patrons and will be open daily between 10:00 and 17:00 until the end of the Easter weekend. Three lifeguards will be posted at the facility during operating hours.

Bryant added he was happy to see residents taking ownership of the space.

“I thought this would be a great project and that it would be a quick six months but that was not to be. But at the end of this, we have a better pool than we had before. It is probably the best pool in Cape Town today, right here in the historic community of Woodstock and it was worth the wait,” he said.

The reopening of the pool also offers a long-standing community organisation the opportunity to revive its projects.

The Trafalgar Amateur Aquatics Club, which started in the early 1980s, was forced to close its operation following the closure of the pools as a result of the drought and subsequent renovations. 

The group facilitated swimming classes for adults and children and had intermediate swimmers. It also had several swimmers competing in events.

The club tried to keep the initiative alive by taking swimmers to neighbouring pools but due to several pools being closed down, the available ones could not accommodate the capacity of surrounding clubs. 

“We tried to keep going but, with no funding, it was difficult,” says Zelda Wildschut, former club secretary.

“We are happy to have our venue back and are hoping to revive the club to go back to the strengths of yesteryear,” says club chair Howard Williams.

The club will host a meeting at the old clubhouse on Saturday 18 January at 10:00.

All interested swimmers who would like to join are welcome to attend.

  • Call Williams on 082 551 5099 for more information.

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