Genazzano FCJ College recently completed the refurbishment of its College Pool which is open to Genazzano students for Term Four.
The three month development has transformed the pool area into a contemporary new space with upgraded change room facilities and modern fixtures and fittings.
The new space will be used by Genazzano students from Prep to Year 12 as part of the Sports and Physical Education curriculum, as well as external guests during swim meets and through its swim programs, GenSwim and GenAquatic, upon the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
A light, bright and welcoming space, the new development was project managed by Chief Operating Officer, Ms Sonya Slocombe; with Mr Matt Welsh, Performance Mentor in the Sports Department and former Olympic swimmer, utilising his extensive experience with pools to assist with the design.
Matt has a long and proud association with the pool and Genazzano; having trained in the pool during his preparation for the Olympics. Matt’s children also swim in the Genazzano pool as his two daughters attend the Junior School and his son, the ELC.
Along with the College Council and Executive Team, Matt wanted to create something special; and for his daughters and other students at the College to be proud of what’s been created – not only the physical space but the culture, legacy and positive changes resulting from the swim program.
“One of my most defining training sessions was in this pool. It has a lot of memories and heart for me”, he shared.
“Part of me was sad to see it go (as is) but I’ve loved being part of the new venture and redevelopment – it’s perfect”!
All students at Genazzano participate in the school swim program as part of the Sports and Physical Education curriculum from Prep to Year 6 and Aquatics from Year 7 to 10. Girls also have the opportunity to join the school swim training team from Years 3 to 12, as part of the 26 co-curricular sport offerings at the College.
As a Division 1 Swim Team in the highly competitive Girls Sport Victoria competition, team training is based around competition preparation in Term Four and Term One with three sessions per week; and two weekly fitness based co-curricular sessions during Terms Two and Three.
The pool is also used by the Water Polo and Triathlon teams. Girls from the Triathlon Team also join the swim squad sessions and use the pool for Brick Sessions—swim/spin or swim/run, to practice transitions and develop this vital skill.
The College also provides two out of school programs, GenSwim and GenAquatic.
GenSwim caters for swimmers from two years of age through to adults, providing swimmers with sound stroke technique and survival skills. Classes run Monday to Friday after school and on weekends.
The Genazzano pool is also home to the GenAquatic Swimming Club, consisting of students from Genazzano FCJ College and girls and boys from the local community.
The enthusiastic, accredited coaches implement structured training programs targeting the major swimming carnivals specific to each squad level, from novice meets to state and national competitions.
“We offer a full training program focusing on sprint work, fitness and more; which helps deliver results both in and out of the pool”, shares Matt.
Matt works closely with various teams at the school including Performance Psychology who facilitate wellbeing programs for Years 6, 8 and 10 students.
“As an elite athlete, you need to learn more than just being the best at your sport, you need to spend time developing all aspects of yourself, including leveraging your strengths and working through your challenges”, he said.
Being able to share his experiences and skills to help students adapt to everyday life is something Matt loves and he is thrilled to be doing it at Genazzano, where his daughters go to school.
“I really do love the school and it’s so wonderful to be able to share these new facilities with our community. I am sure many more swimmers will have their own defining moments in the pool, just like I did”.
Special thanks to the Genazzano Maintenance Team for their support during the project. We’ve ended up with a wonderful space to support our students and broader swimming community.