Swimming championship boost for Sale

Sale will host the 2017 Victorian Country Long Course Swimming Championships, providing a welcome boost to the local economy.

About 2000 swimmers and their families will converge on Sale for the 2017 championships on January 27, 28 and 29.

The championships were held in Sale in 2009 and again in 2013.

Gippsland Swimming Club president Jacqueline Madden said the event would have great financial benefits for the region.

“It’s not just the swimming side of it; it’s what it brings to the Wellington Shire,” she said.

“Competitors and their families will travel from across the state to Gippsland for a four to five day period.

“This event will see use of the new starting blocks installed last season by council, Sale Swimming Club and Gippsland Swimming as a joint initiative.

“Council has provided great encouragement and assistance for the development of swimming in Gippsland.”

Ms Madden said Gippsland Swimming Club recognised that the facilities available in Sale were the best in the region.

“We go to great lengths to promote the benefits of swimming,” she said.

“It is brilliant to be able to say that the sport is complemented here in Wellington by such high quality resources.

“We are most fortunate to work in with the pool staff; they are wonderful.”

Ms Madden said the facilities had been improved greatly by an outdoor covered area, heating flowing to the outdoor pool from inside and the new starting blocks.

She said they were currently working on getting touch pads.

“It helps a lot that we have the heating that comes from inside to the outside pool; it takes the chill off if it happens to turn cold,” she said.

“It’s the best swimming pool in our district and we work closely with Wellington Shire to ensure that.

“With the Wellington Shire many years ago, probably 10 years ago, we put in the wet decking and that was the beginning of having the excellent area that we have to work with at the pool.”

They expect to have more than 50 Sale swimmers participate in the championships, and up to 200 from the remainder of Gippsland.

Wellington Shire councillor Patrick McIvor met with Gippsland Swimming Club representatives on Friday to celebrate the news.

“Wellington Shire Council strongly supported Gippsland Swimming Club’s application to host next year’s event and congratulates them on their success,” Cr McIvor said.

“Council recognises the positive impact that events of this size have on our broader community, in terms of promotion of our region as well as influx of tourism dollars.

“Australia Day weekend next year, we look forward to welcoming around 2000 swimmers, their families and friends from across the state, to Wellington, and encourage local communities and business to support this prestigious event.”