Noel Martin Sports and Aquatic Centre, Sydney University.
5pm Friday. $6.50 entry.
Normally I wouldn’t swim at this time in an inner city pool so as to avoid peak hour mayhem. But because it was Friday - no worries!
I used to swim here everyday during my lunch break as I worked directly behind the centre. It was such a calming and wholesome thing to do in the middle of a work day, and ever since I left that job, I lament the lack of proximity to a pool and the swim-in-an-hour ease. As such, I have fond memories for this pool.
The pool is oft used for water polo like most uni pools, so is lovely and deep for two-thirds of the pool. Here, the pool lane approach is that of double lanes for slow and medium swimmers. I am such a fan, in this context. I’m so unhabituated to swimming with so many other people that at least having a double lane means overtaking/regulating speed is feasible and easy.
Swimming lessons were in full swing, or more like squad or something. Lots of parents watching on, from the carpeted tiered seating framing the pool. Too many people around to take too many photos.
The water always looks very blue here. They did a renovation a couple of years ago to increase the window area into the pool, and ever since, it feels so airy and breezy for what is really a pool in a pretty small space. They also built a new roof, that does such an amazing job of reflecting the blue of the water. Due to the shape of the windows, thin slits of strong spring sunlight hit the pool like rays, moving across the water over the duration of my swim. Swimming through the rays, and catching glares of the sun on the turn of my head, I felt so stimulated by the strong sun in the water. The water was also exceptionally clear.
Showers are free, change rooms adequate but I’ve known them to get very full, with swimmers and gym goers and squash players.
Sydney Uni normally charges an annual membership rate on top of any prices to access the facilities, and I think theoretically you cant use the pool/centre without membership, which from memory is $55. However I just rocked up and asked for single pool entry, and it wasn’t an issue. Always worth a go I reckon, it might be one of those discretionary things that is contingent on the staff member.
I note proposed for further expansion with an additional 25m pool: http://sydney.edu.au/facilities/projects/sac/expansion.shtml
Just found out that a LGBTIQ swimming club is based at this pool, Wett Ones. An entertaining thought if I ever wanted to some training. The website has some interested stuff about pool etiquette and training terminology: http://www.wettones.org/swimming-training/#Ettiquete