Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little-known facts, and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 NZL’s Wharenui Swim Club Needs New Home
As reported by New Zealand media, one of the country’s oldest and most well-known swimming clubs, Wharenui Swim Club, is losing its home after 110 years of operating out of Wharenui Pool. The Christchurch location, first opened in 1968, is under threat of being decommissioned once the new Parakiore Recreation and Sports Centre opens in 2022.
Wharenui Swim Club was founded way back in 1911 and has reportedly taught more than 200,000 people how to swim. Its Wharenui Pool home is also used by 13 schools for swimming sports and a range of community groups; including Parafed Canterbury, an Islamic Women’s swimming group and Te Waka Pounamu (Learn to Swim in te reo Māori).
Club president Chris Averill said the club is looking into options for buying the building or relocating to Parakiore and leasing swimming lanes.
“The City Council believes the facility has passed its use-by date and has produced figures showing it will cost $700,000 per year for the next 10 years to maintain the facilities,” he said. Campaigners have launched an online petition calling on the council to keep the pool open, and they are encouraging people to make a submission as part of the Long Term Plan.
#2 2022 Asian Games Venues Open to Public
The 19th Asian Games are scheduled for September 10th – 25th, 2022 in Hangzhou, China and the host city is wasting no time generating excitement.
For the first time, on April 25th, the main stadium and natatorium were among venues opened to the public, with six internationals getting the grand tour. The 6,000-seat natatorium can be seen in the video here.
Organizers also announced a series of six elaborate events set to take place at the one-year-to-go mark.
“The one-year countdown is a key moment in HAGOC’s preparations for the Hangzhou Asian Games,” HAGOC said in a report. “During that time, HAGOC will stage various celebrations rich in meaning and variety.”
The events scheduled to date include:
- Asian Superstars Concert on September 11th at the Main Stadium of Hangzhou Olympic Park. The event will serve as a dress rehearsal for the Asian Games opening ceremony on September 10, 2022
- Symphony Orchestra Concert with Olympic-inspired elements on September 8th at Hangzhou Grand Theatre to present the characteristics of Hangzhou city and Zhejiang province
- Asian Games Dreams street art activity along both sides of the Qiantang River
- Franchised products market and exhibitions on September 10-12 with the theme “Bring the Asian Games Home”
- China Mobile Cup nationwide “Asian Games English Star Contest” from May to August 2021 with the theme “Together we achieve more”
- Co-host cities Ningbo, Wenzhou, Jinhua, Shaoxing and Huzhou will organise a series of online and offline events including cultural performances, sports activities, art festivals and exhibitions and video and broadcast productions to reflect the local characteristics and culture of each city
#3 – Ian Thorpe Joins Swimming NSW Board of Directors
Australia’s most-decorated Olympian, Ian Thorpe, has been revealed as the newest member of Swimming New South Wales (NSW) Board of Directors.
Per the announcement, “Thorpe has a strong commitment to the not-for-profit sector, having established his own charity, Fountain for Youth and is a Director of Reach Out Australia. This experience combined with his passion and love for the sport of swimming will make him an invaluable addition to the Swimming NSW Board.”
Of his new role, Thorpe said, “Some of Australia’s most iconic swimmers have hailed from NSW so I am grateful for the opportunity to continue their legacy and be part of the team shaping the future of swimming in NSW. I look forward to working with my fellow Board Directors and Swimming NSW’s CEO ultimately to give back to the sport and future generations of swimmers.”
Swimming NSW President, Chris Fydler OAM welcomed Ian’s appointment to the Board. “Ian’s standing within our sport is unrivaled and his broad experience and advocacy work in the not-for-profit sector will be a great asset to Swimming NSW”.
#4 IOC Approves Russian National Anthem
We reported in an earlier edition of Beyond the Lane Lines that proposed the famed folk song “Katyusha” – for whom the feared World War II-era Soviet rocket-launcher system was named – was not allowed to be used as a substitute Russian anthem in Tokyo. The Court of Arbitration for Sport declared the song unsuitable, saying, The CAS panel considers that ‘any anthem linked to Russia’ extends to any song associated with, or with links to, Russia, which would include Katyusha.
Flash forward to this month, however, and the International Olympic Committee has reportedly approved an excerpt from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 to be used in place of the Russian national anthem for this summer’s postponed Olympic Games. Athletes will compete under the acronym ‘ROS’ standing for Russian Olympic Committee, while the flag of the country’s Olympic committee will be flown instead of the Russian flag.