“The first swimmer in the morning would grab the pool gate keys from a neighbours mailbox, with the last one out dropping them back to the letter box.”Jodie Pincini
The historic and iconic Mirboo North Swimming Pool, which is accessible and inclusive to all, has been strengthening health and community for more than 100 years. When it came to discussing the future of the pool, an overwhelming 600 people attended the meeting when closure of the pool was suggested in 2011.
The Mirboo North Swimming Pool is also very lucky that it has a charitable organisation dedicated to its continued existence in “The Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool”.
Seven years working to save the pool
This organisation has had their work cut out for them since 2011, spending 7 years gathering strong support from the community and fundraising locally for re-development of the pool.
The Community Foundation worked with The Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool over a number of years to enable the organisation and wider community to meet its challenges surrounding the redevelopment of the pool.
Fundraising grant 2017
The Community Foundation gave a strategic grant to the Friends of the Pool mid 2017 for a community workshop on fundraising. This was instrumental in the development of their fundraising strategy and the launch of their campaign to save the pool.
Pool fund established 2018
In May 2018, the Community Foundation set up the Mirboo North Swimming Pool Fund. This fund receives donations, including tax deductible donations and these are invested prudently. In this way, the Community Foundation took away the burden of administering donations from the Friends of MN Swimming Pool, leaving them to focus on securing the future of the MN Pool through working with South Gippsland Shire Council and fundraising.
We are proud to say, both as members of the community and as a Foundation that Friends of the Pool had raised an incredible $373,871 by 2018, although it became clear that the costs of the redevelopment were going to be higher than planned.
Our biggest grant ever was given to this significant project
After discussion with the Friends of the Pool and SGSC upon plans and costings, the Community Foundation decided to give this project significant support – over half a million dollars: $450,000 by way of grant and $100,000 as a challenge fund (where all community fundraising up to $100,000 will be matched by us).
This is our most significant financial commitment to a community project to date, but the growth in value of the funds within the Community Foundation means a significant contribution can be made without impacting any of our other projects or grants.
The driver for this decision was that it aligns completely with our vision of a healthy, vibrant and resilient community, working together to meet challenges and celebrate success.
Jodie Pincini – three generations of swimmers fight to save pool
For Jodie Pincini, growing up with her family on Baths Rd in Mirboo Nth meant that the outdoor pool was an integral part of her life every single Summer.
“Living in a rural area means there are not as many public places to meet people, especially when I was a teenager. Walking across to the pool was an important way to catch up with school friends during the holidays,” said Jodie.
Long gone are the days when the first kid in the morning would grab the pool gate keys from a neighbours mailbox, but Jodie’s love for the pool remains. “Because the pool was so close I became a swimmer, for fun and fitness. We would head to the pool for an hour before school most mornings and we would have our school swimming carnivals there.”
When she returned to Mirboo North with her own two children, once again she headed straight for the pool, to share the experience with them.
Jodie says the pool is also important to older citizens in the community. “My mum, who is in her 70’s now, has become a swimmer and going to the pool keeps her fit. Now with the early morning opening of the pool she can do a few laps in the morning in her own time, it’s important for her to have that available.”
She says she is proud of the work the Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool and other organisations in the community have done to secure the future of the pool. “The pool has brought many years of happy times to our family and when it is renovated it is then future proofed for another 50 years of local swimming and gathering.”
The community looks forward to using the pool
It is the primary summer gathering space in our district, encouraging social and physical activity and hosting community events. Not only does it increase community vitality, it also brings economic and tourism benefits to our district as visitors also value it highly.
The Community Foundation looks forward to seeing this project come to fruition, thanks to the Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool.
The Friends of the Mirboo North Swimming Pool
The Friends of Mirboo North Swimming Pool is a community group dedicated to looking after and promoting Mirboo North’s beautiful swimming pool, located in Jordan Way, just off Baths Road.
Set among beautiful trees with plenty of space to lounge on beach towels, Mirboo North Swimming Pool is the venue for a happy day out. Boasting one 9 lane 25-metre pool, a children’s pool and splash park, completely shaded, free electric BBQs and ample parking, the redeveloped pool is set to open for Summer 2020-2021.
The swimming pool is a much loved community asset, and the Friends of Mirboo North Swimming Pool aims to ensure this facility continues to serve the community well into the future. The Friends of the Mirboo North Pool has raised more than $1million as a community contribution to the redevelopment, including a grant of $550,000 from the Community Foundation.