An Oasis in the Australian Outback

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Ggg 120 Aq Australian Pool Feat

In an article for swimswam.com, writer Shannon MacDonald described a new public pool in the community of Balgo, a small settlement deep in the heart of western Australian outback on the edge of the Tanami Desert, as an “oasis of hope.”

In many ways the pool, which opened in September, is a shimmering example of how important a swimming pool can be to locals and the community. It’s the only public pool within more than 900 kilometers, in an area that experiences triple-digit heat throughout much of the year. It’s one of six pools in rural locations operated by Royal Life Saving, the pool provides numerous aquatic activities and recreational choices for the mostly aboriginal residents.

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According to MacDonald, “Balgo pool and the other Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools are not just about swimming and being physically active they are a place where educational, health, well-being and social cohesion outcomes are achieved.”

The Olympic sized pool and surrounding facility cost $7 million. In the opening ceremony, which was attended by approximately 200 people, the vessel was cleansed and blessed by an aboriginal priest. The pool was built by Perth-based Safeway Aquatics. Soaring temperatures and the vast distances reportedly made for a tremendously challenging installation process, which began in October 2018.

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