Merrylands SwimFest

SWIMMERS are invited to grab the goggles and togs and enter the Merrylands SwimFest meet at Merrylands Swimming Centre on February 26.

The annual meet is organised by Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club and is open to all Swimming NSW registered swimmers. Non-Swimming NSW members can also compete by becoming members of the club.

Up to 200 swimmers are expected to attend from Holroyd and surrounding areas.

Voluntary Awards

GLAD Pye and Jean Bates received this year's Premier's Award for Active Citizenship at a lunch celebrating the efforts of local volunteers on Thursday.

The 400 volunteers from around Holroyd at the lunch had given 96,144 hours of service or 11 years of their time helping others.

Mrs Pye has volunteered at Merrylands Swimming Club since it opened in 1968. She said she enjoys volunteering because it gave her a chance to give to the community.

"I can't believe I won this award," she said. "It's wonderful to be acknowledged for something you love doing."

"When I volunteered at the Paralympics I had to escort athletes to the winners’ podium and it was amazing to be a part of that. I love what I do."

Mrs Bates, a cancer and emphysema sufferer, volunteers at the Merrylands Op Shop and sometimes takes the clothes home to wash and iron them. She has been working there for six years and said she loved it.

"When I work in the shop, I feel wanted and needed and I'll do it for as long as I can."

Mayor Mark Pigram said: "Volunteering reinforces the idea that people can make a difference. You come to realise the effort and selflessness of those who volunteer and it makes me feel proud to be part of this community."

Troy Trounces the Thorpedo

TROY Tomkinson won't feel like a fish out of water at next month's National Age swim titles.

Far from it - he recently broke Ian Thorpe's 13 years age group record for the 50m Freestyle event at the Metropolitan South West titles.

That's a note worthy feat when you consider how highly regarded Thorpe was at that age and what he's achieved since at World Championship and Olympic level.

Troy, 13, is the first Merrylands Swimming Club member in 20 years to qualify for the championships.

His coach Kristen Sunner is quietly confident her protege will do well at the titles, to be held in Melbourne between April 19 and 23.

Troy has qualified for three events at the National Age titles, namely the 50m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle events.

Kristen has tutored troy for the past two years, watching him develop and mature as an athlete and a person.

She said Troy was a very good prospect who had worked hard in training.

"He's only been training three days a week", Kristen said.

Club boasts State Champion

MERRYLANDS Amateur Swimming Club now boasts its first State Champion.

Darren Turner competed in the NSW Winter Championships recently and won 2 medals.

He won first place in the 10 years and under 100m Backstroke with a time of 1m 20.10s and third place in the 10 years and under 100m Freestyle in 1m 11.17s.

Merrylands Swimming Club was established in 1968 and Darren is their first swimmer to gain the distinction of being a State champion in his age and stroke.

Swimming Training in Winter

MERRYLANDS Amateur Swimming Club will hold its winter training sessions at Guildford heated pool on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

At last week's council meeting the club asked if it could have two or three lanes set aside for swimmers to train in, as had been the policy in past years.

The club hopes to have about 30 swimmers in training during the winter.

Council decided two lanes could be made available on Monday and Wednesday nights between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm.


Paraplegic Games for Merrylands

Merrylands Oval has been selected as the site for the 1972 Australian Paraplegic Games.

The Paraplegic Association made its decision last week and final negotiations between Holroyd Council, the association and the sponsoring Wentworthville Lions Club are now under way.

The Wentworthville Lions Club secretary, Mr. Joe Adams said the location for the games had been in doubt for some time but had now been settled for Merrylands.

"It is a great thing for the area."

The move to conduct the games arose from the Wentworthville Lions Club's recent Australian boxing title fight.

The club raised $1000 for the Paraplegic Association.

The date for the games is not definite yet but Mr Adams is hoping for an early start.

"The games can be held from February 13 to 21 or March 22 to April 2.

"But I am hoping that the February date can be arranged.

"At that stage of the year, the competitors will not be troubled by cold weather."

Facilities in the area are first class.

The swimming centre, oval and RSL Youth Centre are in the one complex and the competitors can be centred at the one point.

All track and field and archery events will be held on the oval.

Swimming events will be conducted at the pool while basketball, snooker and table tennis will be played at the RSL Youth Centre.

Accommodation for the competitors was an early problem but this has now been rectified.


Swimming Champions

Merrylands Swimming Centre's under 14 4 x 200 metres relay team display the Campbetltown trophy they won at a recent Camden carnival.

They are (left to right): Kim Warwick, Mike Lewis, Daryl Earl and Geoff Cashel.

Kim Warwick is the Merrylands breaststroke champion and qualified for the NSW titles at Drummoyne.

Lewis is the club's under 12 all round champion.

He contested the State butterfly and medley championships at Drummoyne.

Daryl Earl is the club champion in the under 14 butterfiy section and is also a proficient backstroke and freestyle exponent.

Cashel is also an all-rounder who is adept at all swimming styles.

Club trainers are confident the boys can repeat their winning performances at future carnivals.

Officials last week said the team had trained extremely hard this season.

"We are out to give their clubs in the area a real testing with these boys." one official said.


Boisterous youths controlled at pool; 250 Members in Swimming Club

Aldermen of Holroyd Municipal Council have congratulated the staff at Merrylands Swimming Pool on the way it has been run.

At the last meeting of council, Aid. H. L. Maley said ratepayers had congratulated the pool staff on the attendances at the pool and the attention given to the 'boisterous' element.

Pool attendants have cracked down on rowdy behaviour and horseplay.

Ald. W. Try supported Ald. Maley.

He added that the Merrylands Swimming Club which has the pool as its base, is going from strength to strength.

The club has 250 members, and at the present rate of growth could soon become the largest, swimming club in the State.

Attendance figures at the pool for the two weeks previous to the council meeting had been included in a report to the council.

The figures showed more than 30,000 people had used the pool in this short time.

Children comprised the bulk of the figure with the turnstiles recording an amazing 19,614.

A further 397 were admitted under children's concessions.

Paying adults totalled 7132 with 389 being admitted under concessions.

The pool, opened less than three months ago, on November 9, and already more than 115,000 have passed through the turnstiles.

At the official opening, performed by the Mayor of Holroyd, Ald. R. W. Devlin, it was announced that the $400,000 pool was the second completed by the Holroyd Council in three years.

The opening days gave a good indication of the demand for the pool.

Thousands of children and their parents turned up for the ceremony.

After the opening ceremony Ald. Devlin declared "open house" and within minutes there was hardly room to move in any of the pools in the centre.

The swimming club took little time to begin full-scale operations.

Club officers were elected and within five weeks the membership rose to 120.

Since that time, a further 130 have joined the ranks.


Merrylands pool bid granted; Mayor performs official opening

Merrylands Swimming Club last week was granted regular use of the new Merrylands swimming centre, recently opened by Mayor of Holroyd, Ald. R. W. Devlin.

Holroyd Council agreed to allow the club the use of the centre for races on Friday nights in the months of December, January and February.

Consideration will later be given for use of the pool by the club in September, October, November, March and April, if the club so desires.

Club president and amteur coach, Mr. J. G. Earl, of Lucerne Avenue, Merrylands, said the club would hold regular activities.

He invited boys and girls of all ages, and parents, to join the club.

Club officers were elected recently, and in five weeks membership rose to 120.

Meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of each month in a clubroom at the swimming centre.

Further information can be obtained from club secretary, Mr. J. Lovell, of Frances Street, Merrylands, telephone 635 9607.

At the opening ceremony, hundreds of children cheered Ald. Devlin as he officially declared "open house" at the swimming centre.

Within minutes of the doors being opened, the three pools were packed with youngsters enjoying a day's free swimming.

Earlier, Ald. Devlin had welcomed fellow aldermen and guests to the ceremony.

Guests included State Member for Merrylands, Mr. L. J. Ferguson, and Mrs. Ferguson, and former Mayor of Holroyd, Mr. G. Maunder.

Apologies were received from Federal Opposition Leader, Mr. Gough Whitlam, State Member for Granville, Mr. P. Flaherty, and Federal Member for Reid, Mr. T. Uren.

Ald. Devlin said the Merrylands centre was the second swimming facility completed by council in three years.

First centre was opened at Wentworthville.

"The centre covers an area of five acres and the Olympic pool is of the utility type, 50 metres long.

"This pool is 60 ft. wide and has eight lanes.

"It Is suitable for water polo, and I understand this will please students from Merrylands High School.", he said.

Also in the centre is a teaching pool, and a wading pool for children.

Centre-piece of the wading pool is a miniature whale.

Provision has been made in the layout of the $365,000 centre for a 25-metre training pool.

Change room accommodation is larger than the same facilities at Wentworthville pool.

The pools are surrounded by thick lawn, and one side is banked to give added protection from wind.

Council was able to provide the Wentworthville centre without in interfering with the general rate and hopes that it can also finance Merrylands pool in the same manner.

Merrylands Swimming Centre Appeal Committee raised $818 towards the cost of the centre.


The picture above shows the learners pool at Merrylands Swimming Centre, and part of the largre crowd attending the official opening. Features of the learners pool include the raised, railed surround, from which instructors can see clearly, and the shallow ends sloping to a deeper centre, allowing classes to use both ends at the same time. The main Olympic pool is to the right, the toddlers' pool to the left, and the administrative buildings in the right background.

The Mayor of Holroyd, Ald. R. W. Devlin, addresses 3000 people before he officially declares Merrylands Swimming Centre open. Mrs. Devlin is seated alongside her husband.

The Mayor of Holroyd, Ald. R. W. Devlin, unveils a plaque commemorating the official opening of Merrylands Swimming Centre.

The plaque contains the names of Holroyd Council aldermen and officers.

The aldermen are: A. L. Brierley, G. Cullis, F. S. Edwards. R. S. Grieve, H. L. Maley (deputy mayor), J. W. Masters, H. Read, P. S. J. Sammut, F. J. Smith, W. R. Try ond O. D. Young.

The officers' names on the plaque are those of the town clerk, Mr. P. A. Arnett, and the chief engineer, Mr. A. H. Alderson.

The swimming centre was built at a cost of $365,000.

The centre contains a main Olympic type pool, a training pool, and a wading pool for children.

Centre-piece of the wading pool, is a scale model of a whale.

Bright new sporting era for Merrylands

Merrylands is on the threshold of a bright new era of sporting facilities.

Holroyd Council plans to have a swimming pool in Merrylands Park completed for the start of the 1968-69 swimming season.

Within a matter of weeks the new cycling track at Merrylands Oval will be completed.

And major dralnagework in Merrylands Park will provide another playing field.

Mayor of Hoiroyd, Ald. R. W. Devlin, is expected to make a statement on plans for the swimming pool at tonight's council meeting.

He said at the last meeting that council would definitely not go back on its decision to build a pool before a library.

The pool, which will be built on the site of a small sports field in Merrylands Park, should be ready for use in October next year.

Work on the pool is expected to begin early in the New Year.

At the last council meeting, Ald, F. S, Edwards suggested that Ald, Devlin should make a statement on the pool, because some people still seemed to doubt that council would go ahead with the project.

He said the doubts seemed to have arisen because of opposition in some quarters to council's decision to build the pool before a central library.

The pool will undoubtedly be a boon to residents of the district.

Parents with young children will probable appreciate the pool more than most people.

The convenience of the swimming facilities will remove a summer headache of what to do at the weekends and in holidays.

Next door to the swimming pool will be the cycling track around Merrylands Oval

Cycling officials say it will be the best track in Sydney, especially following the close-down of some other major tracks.

Lighting work is being done at the track now and should be completed within a few weeks.

Drainage work in Merrylands Park is part of a long term project to pipe the creek which runs through the park.

Observers say this will provide room for an extra playing field.

This summer Merrylands Oval will be used for half of Cumberland Cricket Club's first grade "home" matches.

It all adds up to increasing prominence of Merrylands as a major centre for sporting facilities.