THE lack of a warm-up pool at Wodonga’s unfinished Waves aquatic centre wasn’t a factor in Wodonga’s successful bid to host next year’s Victorian Country Swimming Championships.
Swimming Victoria chief Warwick Waters yesterday said it wasn’t always possible to have a second pool for warm-ups and warm-downs.
“This won’t be the first time the country championships are held without a secondary pool,” Mr Waters said.
“Swimming Victoria has full confidence the Ovens and Murray District Swimming Association will deliver a fantastic event.”
Mr Waters wouldn’t say how many cities had bid for the titles, but Wodonga Amateur Swimming Club president Harald Stadelmann said “there wasn’t many in the first round”.
The $11 million WAVES was yesterday told it had won the right to host the three-day event next January.
Wodonga mayor Mark Byatt said the decision showed faith in the region and its aquatic associations.
“To be able to deliver an event in a brand new centre is a fantastic story. I congratulate (both associations),” he said.
Mr Byatt dismissed suggestions no warm-up pool had hindered the city’s bid.
Running a shuttle bus between WAVES and the Wodonga Leisure Centre remains an option as does allowing time between events for swimmers to warm-up.
The event is expected to attract 800 competitors and 3000 people a day and pump more than $1 million into the economy.
The championships were last held on the Border, at the Albury Swim Centre, in 2005.
Mr Stadelmann said WAVES would allow the city to see seek out better swimmers and events.
“It gives us a chance to bring world-class competitors and events to our region,” he said.
“With 10 lanes and electronic touch pads, it’s world class.”
Mr Byatt said WAVES was on track to open late next month.