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The Maclean Manta Rays Swimming Club are seeking support from council, businesses and residents to heat the Maclean Olympic Pool. Image: contributed

Manta Rays lead Maclean pool heating plan

Rodney Stevens


A push to heat the Maclean Olympic Pool so the community can benefit from this valuable asset year-round, and our next generation of champions can train is being spearheaded by the Maclean Manta Rays Swimming Club.

One of only two public swimming pools in the Lower Clarence, Maclean Pool was originally opened following community fundraising in 1962 as a six lane, 33-metre-long facility, which was upgraded to a 50 metre Olympic pool in 1982, after $200,000 was raised by locals.

Today the pool is home to a diverse range of programs from learn to swim classes, junior and senior squad programs producing state and national swimmers, and the Nungera swim program, to school-based swim programs involving 10 Clarence Valley schools, the Masters swim program, plus community-based activities including aqua aerobics and physiotherapy sessions.

Six Maclean Manta Rays members have qualified for the 2024 Australian Age Championships to be held on the Gold Coast from April 6 to 14, Hudson Batinovic, Ian Burgess, Jett Burke, Jack Leeson, Hayden Whyte, and Freya Meade.

Maclean Manta Rays secretary, Jess Burgess said heating the pool will benefit the entire community and could deliver Maclean’s next Olympian.

“By heating the pool and extending the swim season, we can provide greater opportunities for individuals of all ages to engage in swimming activities, promoting fitness, social interaction, and overall wellbeing,” she said.

“We have some incredible young swimmers training with us at the Maclean Manta Rays, many of whom have qualified for the 2024 Australian Age Championships.

“They can only train for seven months of the year and are competing against kids who are training all year round.

“Imagine what our local kids could achieve in the pool if they were given the opportunity to train in a heated pool like most of their competitors.”

Valley Pool Services Director, Michelle Irwin, who operates the Maclean pool said heating the facility would be fantastic for the community.

“The Maclean Olympic Pool is such an incredible resource for our community,” she said.

“Our facility is extremely popular, and heating the pool would be a wonderful chance to provide Maclean locals with more opportunities to enjoy the pool.”

The Maclean Manta Rays are seeking the support of Clarence Valley Council, local businesses and residents to heat the pool, with a petition of more than 250 signatures, that is available for people to sign at the pool, already collected.

“We are calling upon the council and community organisations to come together to support this project,” Ms Burgess said.

“Together, we can continue to seek and leverage grant and funding opportunities and advocate for the enhancement of our local pool.

“We are currently awaiting estimates for the pricing to heat the pool.

“We are advocating for a Master plan to be completed and to be prepared for any developmental funding possible.

“We are hoping to be included in the Clarence Valley Council’s upcoming strategic planning.”

The petition to heat Maclean Pool is available at the Maclean and Yamba pools for residents to sign.