The West

Beatty Park diving boards axed to stop louts
Beatty Park Leisure Centre Manager Dale Morrissy. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Diving boards will remain a relic of the past at the new-look Beatty Park after antisocial behaviour and increased demand for water polo prompted a decision to remove them.

The centre's manager Dale Morrissy said serious divers seldom visited the centre and the boards presented more of a hazard than a fun activity.

"When people came in and started getting carried away on a diving board, the risk became very high," he said.

"Quite often we had to pull people out of the pool - we had at least one serious rescue a year when the boards were there."

He said reducing the pool's depth from 5m to 2m and dedicating the former diving area to water polo reduced the risk significantly.

Before the boards were removed, the pool would attract groups of louts who would use the diving boards inappropriately.

"They would jump off the boards and on to each other, creating a risk of spinal injuries," Mr Morrissy said.

He said antisocial patrons usually used the pool during heatwaves when pool security would have to be increased.

"When we get two or three 40-degree days in a row and people get hot and bothered it can create issues," he said.

"We have CCTV, hire security guards and have extra staff on those days."

Members of the Australian diving team training at Beatty Park

The pool's two 3m boards and one 1m board were removed in 2011 and last year the pool's depth was reduced as part of a $17 million upgrade.

Beatty Park's historic 10m diving tower was removed during renovations in 1994.

Mr Morrissy said the lack of diving facilities resulted in only a few disappointed pool users.

"We didn't get much demand from diving clubs but we have two resident water polo clubs," he said.

"To have a water polo club in a controlled environment reduces the risk significantly."

Mr Morrissy said serious divers would attend nearby Challenge Stadium's indoor diving centre.

The West Australian

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