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Source: Auckland Council

Taking a dip will be easier in smaller Franklin Local Board settlements after the board made $20,000 in grants to schools to help them keep their pools open to the public over summer.

The board is unique in maintaining a School Swimming Pool Fund, which it uses so residents in smaller areas can have access to school pools, because travelling to larger community facilities is not always practical.

Ten applications from Clevedon, Mauku, Maraetai Beach, Alfriston, Te Hihi, Glenbrook, Valley School, Awhitu, Beachlands and Ararimu were made in the name of the boards of trustees, with all receiving $2000.

The money is used to pay for the extra chemicals and cleaning costs the schools incur at a time when they are closed for summer break.

Waiuku subdivision representative Sharlene Druyven says the pools are more than just places for children to go for a swim.

“In some of our remoter areas, schools are very much at the heart of the community. Families will gather and interact, and often share lifeguard duties so that life can continue.

“We can be guilty of assuming everyone can just pop along to a pool for a cool-off in summer, but when you live on the Awhitu Peninsula or at Paparimu or Ararimu, it isn’t always that easy.”