Why is Council naming sections of the Ashfield Aquatic Centre?

    Council became aware of a petition to name the new centre after Warwick Webster, a former learn to swim coach. Prior to the refurbishment, the grandstand was named after Warwick Webster.  Historically, this centre has been named after its location, including: 

    • Baily Park Pool (during planning stages only) 

    • Ashfield Olympic Swimming Centre 

    • Ashfield Municipal Pool 

    • Ashfield Aquatic Centre (forthcoming) 

    We appreciate the community’s passion to honour those who make a significant contribution. Therefore, we invite you to suggest names for sections of the centre, while maintaining the historical approach to naming the overall centre.   

    What activities happen in the spaces?

    1. Olympic 50m Pool: swim laps, school carnivals, aquarobics, children’s swim programs, recreation swimming
    2. Outdoor program pool: water activities e.g. water polo, training, learn to swim programs, aquarobics
    3. Outdoor Leisure pool and family area: family water play
    4. Outdoor Marshalling area: a gathering place 
    5. Outdoor Grandstand: spectators area with tiered seating
    6. Creche: child minding service 
    7. 2x Group Exercise studios: group fitness classes
    8. Indoor pool: learn to swim, lap swimming and aquarobics

    When and why was the grandstand named after Warwick Webster?

    Australian culture is bound up with our love for the water and beaches. Learning to swim is part of our school curriculum for the safety, health and wellbeing of all who are near the water. 

    Warwick Webster was a world record holder, a swimming coach and swimming teacher. Since the Ashfield Pool opened in 1963, he operated his swim school for 40 years until 2004, and taught more than 300,000 children to swim. He was at the pool seven days a week servicing the community, including operating the kiosk until 1982. 

    In 1995, the eastern grandstand was named after Warwick to honour his 30 years of service to the community.

    Warwick passed away in December 2012. He is remembered as someone who played a huge part in teaching the community to swim and coaching local swimmers.

    How will the panel choose names to recommend?

    Nominees must be local citizens and sports people with an association to the Pool and the community 

    Council will convene a panel of local representatives from these groups: 

    • Ashfield Swimming Club
    • Ashfield District Historical Society
    • Wests Water Polo Club
    • Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee
    • ex-students of swim teacher, Warwick Webster. 

    They will consider the names suggested and bring their own input to the process. Their recommendations will go to the elected Council for final decisions. We will provide the panel with the Geographical Names Board’s  Place Naming Policy as an accepted guide for naming. It covers cultural sensitivity, considerations for punctuation and guidelines for commemorative naming (like this project). 

    Where can I find out more about the new Ashfield Aquatic Centre?

    The new Ashfield Aquatic Centre is opening soon. Find out more about what the facility has to offer, the wide range of Health and Fitness services and the benefits of foundation membership on our website

    How can I find out more about the history of Ashfield Aquatic Centre?

    Council commissioned the Ashfield District Historical Society to produce a book about the history of Ashfield Aquatic Centre. Titled 'Taking the Plunge', it will be launched on 17 October 2020 when the pool reopens to the public. 

    Read more on the Ashfield District Historical Society's website