BLACK HATT PUBLICAN SAVES FLOUNDERING LOCAL POOL

In The Hub by Clyde Mooney

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The owner of Geelong’s Black Hatt pub has rescued the local swimming pool, kick-starting plans to launch up to 50 community swimming pools to teach kids to swim.

Kylee Clasper already had ideas of opening a local swim school, and when a patron at the pub told her the pool in nearby Portarlington was shutting down, she took the plunge and acquired the lease from the private owners.

“He mentioned the pool was going to close, and we’ve actually had in the pipeline plans to get a swimming school started in Geelong so we thought it could be a good stepping stone to start off with,” Clasper told the Geelong Advertiser.

“It’s already established and people already know about it. We’re commercial builders as well so we just approached the owners and said we can clean it up and run it, what do you reckon?”

Last year the site’s owners faced a costly renovation bill to bring the facility up to scratch, and it seemed likely the pool would close. Since taking it on Clasper and her partner have already undertaken numerous repairs, and hope to reopen it in time for second term of school. She has a two-year-old she hopes will benefit from it soon.

But this is just the first of many that Clasper’s new business – swimming school franchise Splash Swim School Australia – hopes to roll out in the next 18 months, to help teach kids around the country to swim.

The plan involves building above-ground 1.2-metre deep pools 4.5 x 15.4 metres in leased warehouses. Taking around four weeks each to construct, they do not require digging any holes on the sites. Lessons will be conducted by qualified instructors.

Finding herself running a pub, managing a building company and planning a national swim school, Clasper has taken on a personal assistant and finds herself delegating a lot.

“I’ll be there to oversee it all,” she says.

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Black Hatt, Geelong