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BATHING AND SWIMMING.

To the Editor. Sir, —It seems to me that the residents of this district are, if not absolutely a sporting community, yet an essentially pleasure-loving one. This impression is deepened when one observes the very close manner in which the devotees of each particular amusement or sport apply themselves to that to which they are most attached—horse-racing, athletics, or the drama. My reason for encroaching on your space, 'is not to attempt to put the proverbial wet blanket upon any of the existing methods by which the public endeavor to drive dull care away, but to suggest one more means of recreation, which, I think, would be both healthful and enjoyable. There are not a few persons in Ashburton who have spent, the greater part of their lives in a seaport town, where, both morning and evening,a dip in the briny has conduced in no small measure to cleanliness and recreation. Away up on these plains, the former resident of tho seaside misses nothing so much as his daily plunge and swim. Until recently there has been no opportunity afforded for this additional enjoyment, except one or two holes in tho river, which are certainly not very attractive to a stranger. The desideratum has at last been supplied in the very excellent stream which meanders through the Ashburton Domain. More than one citizen, while promenading tho banks of the creek, has looked longingly at the spots where a “ header ” could be taken, and a swim of a.number of yards obtained. It has often been asked whether any law would be infringed were a bather. to don a suitable costume and take his daily bath in the Domain grounds. This question might easily be set at rest, and the rules of public decency observed, were the Domain Board or Borough Council (whichever body has the power) to erect an inexpensive shed and enclosure for the use of bathers, and charge a nominal sum to meet actual expenses. But this refers merely to the question of bathing. Would it not be possible to institute a Swimming Club ? or perhaps the Caledonian Society—whose object and aims seem to extend from giving scholarships to rewarding the victors in a tug .of war—might take the hint, and during the summer months hold a series of swimming matches. It is questionable whether any of the present modes of recreation adopted in the district would have more adherents, or whether any of them would be more conducive to health and usefulness than utilizing the water supply of the Borough in the manner proposed by . : ■ ■ Dolly Varden.

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BATHING AND SWIMMING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 227, 28 December 1880

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