• Loddon Herald

COVID hits pool hours

The ability to send staff to support Loddon pools has been severely reduced as COVID-19 issues have seen reduced service hours and closures of outdoor pools in Bendigo as well due to staff availability, new manager of the shire's five swimming pools said today.

Belgravia Leisure regional manager Rod Simms said the shortage of senior staff for Loddon pools at Boort, Inglewood, Mitiamo, Pyramid Hill and Wedderburn had also been felt in the Bendigo area due to impacts from COVID-19 and these effects on staff availability.

"Our Simply the Best Summer jobs campaign has been successful in providing additional staff numbers to assist in the operations of the Loddon pools and we thank the community for their response," he said.

"However we continue to see a shortage of senior lifeguards who are needed to operate the pools. The shortage of senior lifeguards is due to ongoing impacts such as the local harvest and availability of staff due to other commitments over the festive season.

"While this continues to impact the opening of the pools for now, we will continue to offer free lifeguard training and courses in January and are confident that pools will return to near normal opening hours by mid January. This also is when we expect the local harvest to finish and our senior staff availability to improve."

Loddon pools are opening limited days this week as temperatures soar into the high 30s.

Meanwhile, Vicswim classes are scheduled to start from next Monday but the swimming program last week was still looking for instructors to make the Inglewood and Mitiamo programs possible.

Pyramid Hill classes start on Monday while the week-long program at Boort and Inglewood are scheduled to start on January 10 and at Wedderburn and Mitiamo on January 17.

The Loddon Herald has been unable to obtain an update on instructors for the Inglewood and Mitiamo programs.

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