Physio pool fundraising party

Hawaiian theme . . . Physio Pool fundraising volunteer Ingrid O'Connell (back) and her grandchildren (middle from left) Isla Musk (8), Ella Thom (9), Kamalie Deseymour (11) and (front) Liam Thom (7) are looking forward to the Hawaiian-themed pool party on Saturday. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

A physiotherapy pool fundraiser will bring summer to the middle of winter.

A Hawaiian-themed pool party will be held on Saturday to raise money to cover the pool’s operating costs.

Since the Southern District Health Board announced in 2014 its plans to close the pool, a campaign has been raising money to keep it open.

Fundraising volunteer Ingrid O’Connell said the party would be the pool’s major fundraiser for the year.

It was important the pool remained open, as it kept many of its users “able-bodied”, she said.

The pool party will have live music from Tiny Pieces of Eight, Catgut and Steel, Valley Bluegrass and the Dunedin Scottish Fiddle Orchestra.

There will also be prizes for the best dressed.

“The music will be great,” Mrs O’Connell said.

“Come along and have a nice time.”

Mrs O’Connell said she had been involved in several fundraisers since she found out the pool was to close.

“[I] felt that I wanted to do something for the pool because it’s done a lot for me.”

She had been using the pool for more than 30 years and went for a swim there at least five times a week.

The pool was often quiet in the morning, which was a “perfect time to come for a swim before work”, she said.

“It’s a wonderful facility.”

Otago Therapeutic Pool Trust secretary-treasurer Neville Martin said the party was a vital part of ongoing fundraising to keep the pool open.

“There is a strong willingness from the public that this facility remain open, but it is reliant on people using it and contributing to the fundraising effort.”

He hoped people would attend the party and support the pool.

“It will rely on people continuing to use [the pool], otherwise it will close.”

The Dunedin Hospital rebuild potentially has big implications for the pool.

A community-led upgrade is on hold, awaiting a decision on the site of the new hospital.

Tickets for the pool party are $20 and available from the physio pool and include entry, a swim and refreshments. For more information about the pool, go to