Swimming vs biking and running

Stuff reports:

Wellington aqua bunnies could lose out as figures show a massive increase in ratepayer spending for pools resulting in almost no more swimmers.

And Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery is now questioning whether some of the money would be better spent on growth sports such as mountain biking and trail running.

More than $45 million in ratepayers’ money since 2002 had been spent on upgrading and renewing the council’s swimming pools, he said in his pre-election report.

Despite Wellington’s population increasing by 15 per cent in that time, pool visits had remained almost static at about 1.2 million visits per year.

“This has meant our ratepayer subsidy per attendee has almost doubled.”

Good to see the CEO pointing this out.

The council needed to be “smarter” with its sports and recreation investment and may need to look at reducing funding to pools and instead pouring it into “growth sports”, such as mountain biking and trail running, which were not traditionally strongly supported by councils.

“The recreation paradigms are shifting and we need to move with them,” he said.

I agree.

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