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Auckland swimmers dealt double blow as drought forces pools to remain closed

Not only has Covid-19 disrupted the New Zealand sports calendar, Auckland’s drought is causing more issues in the return to sport.

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As lockdown restrictions slowly lift, Kiwis around the country are returning to the pools, however Aucklanders have been left high and dry. Source: 1 NEWS

Swimmers around the country have been able to get back to some normality.

But it’s a very different story in Auckland. The drought has forced the council to close some of their pools leaving swimmers high and dry.

However Auckland's Northern Arena in Silverdale is back up and running but that’s because they’re a privately owned centre.

Their swim school manager, former Olympian Dean Kent says, “the kids have been really excited and certainly my teaching team have been so happy to see their kids again.”

Ten Auckland Council pools haven’t opened due to water restrictions

Auckland Council’s Head of Active Recreation Dave Stewart says they have responsibility to lead by example.

“We need to be doing our bit and managing water conservation. We do recirculate the majority of water that comes through the network but then there's showers, the washdown of the environments that do consume a lot of water.”

Hawkes Bay’s another region suffering from a drought but council told 1 NEWS they don’t have any pool restrictions in place.

But it’s a huge setback for competitive swim clubs and Watersport teams operating in council pools as far as Silverdale to Counties Manukau. Some fear athletes will drop out and the clubs will fall.

“It seems a little bit unfair that we have centres that are open and other centres that aren't able to open, I guess we'd just like to see a bit of evenness across the city.” Says Howick Swimschool director Horst Miehe.

Miehe’s SwimGym has 10,000 members based across the the council facilities. He’s managed to get just 400 of them into privately owned centres

“We love teaching kids how to swim and teaching them how to swim and survive and keeping them safe and seeing smiles on their face when they come down here it's something we're missing, really frustrating,” says Miehe.

But there is good news coming as early as next week. The council is set reopen some of there pools starting from Wednesday.