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Ulmarra pool: what the schools say

Geoff Helisma |

Six small Clarence Valley public schools have made cases for reopening the Ulmarra pool.

Letters written by each of the principals have been compiled and passed on to Ulmarra Village Inc by the Department of Education’s director of educational leadership for the Grafton Principal Network.

“Please find below a joint letter of support regarding the opportunity to re-open the Ulmarra Pool … from Ulmarra, Cowper, Wooli, Tucabia, Copmanhurst and Baryulgil public schools,” the letter states.

Below are selected quotes from each of the schools’ letters.

Copmanhurst Public School: Students at Copmanhurst Public School have been utilising the Ulmarra Pool and adjacent park … for close to twenty years as our end of year activity.

Copmanhurst, like most villages in the Clarence Valley, does not have a pool.

At the end of the school year, competition for space at the Grafton Pool is high and, for students from a small school, the Ulmarra pool was perfect.

Tucabia Public School: Ulmarra pool has historic value to not only Ulmarra but also the surrounding communities.

Generations have used it and it is part of their collective history.

Supporting our local communities is essential for the prosperity of the entire Clarence Valley.

It also helps … new generations to develop those civic minded ideals that are essential for society as a whole.

Wooli Public School: Wooli Public School has always used Ulmarra pool for [its] learn to swim lessons, it was the only public facility close to Wooli that was safe for swimming with larger groups of children.

Wooli Public School also combined with Ulmarra and Cowper Schools for their Ulmarra and friends combined school swimming fun day.

This was a great opportunity for our students to mix with their peers from other small schools.

Baryulgil Public School: Students at Baryulgil PS use the Ulmarra pool with other small schools to celebrate the end of a school year and complete swimming lessons.

For students in Baryulgil, swimming was and still is a high priority, as the river is very accessible and utilised by community….

The Ulmarra pool … was an appropriate size and safe environment for swim instruction; there is no other accessible space that meets the needs of the small schools communities.

The learning experiences and social interactions the pool provided for students in small schools is immeasurable.

Ulmarra Public School: Ulmarra Public School fully endorses the reopening of the Ulmarra Pool.

Ulmarra Public School families are generally of a very low socio economic group and, as such, have difficulty with transport and funds for private swimming lessons in Grafton or Maclean.

The pool had a vital role in keeping children safe by providing a supervised and safe swimming place whilst also providing a resource to the wider Clarence Valley community.

Cowper Public School: Students who attend Cowper Public School were asked how they felt about the Ulmarra pool closing down. All agreed it should stay open.

These are some of their comments: It is close to our school and a good place for children who need to know how to swim, Madi 10; The Ulmarra pool is a good place for the elderly to relax and get to know each other, Stone 10; It is a good place to get people together, Abi 11; and, It is a good place for the children to meet on the weekend with children from other schools; they can walk there without having to drive, Charli 10.