Nyah Two Bays swimming club was formed in 1978 by a group of five Swan Hill families. This club, with Shirley Swan as their coach and 37 young swimmers, needed a base pool. Nyah had such a pool, however for those who lived in Swan Hill Nyah was quite a distance away especially at 6am!
Tom Whitfield and the Saul family came up with the idea of building a pool at the Swan’s farm, five kilometres from Swan Hill on the Murraydale Road. This idea appeared out of reach since the Swan’s did not have the finance available for the project. After some discussion Shirley and Arthur decided to subdivide 10 acres off their farm and raised the capital to build a 25 metre in ground swimming pool.
Plans to build a pool were submitted to council in April 1978. Tom Whitfield, Aud Lewis, Leo Rowlands, Len Saul and their families volunteered their labour to assist the Swan family with the huge task of building the new pool. Tom Whitfield dug the hole, and a man was employed for a day to show the volunteer work force how to set up the steel reinforcement in readiness for the concrete to be poured. All of this work was completed during one of the wettest winters on record, and was completed in October 1978 just in time for the new swimming season! With further voluntary labour the toilets, showers and septic system was built to complete the pool complex. The club’s name originated from the fact that there were two base pools for the swimmers to train in: Nyah and Murraydale hence two training “Bays” for the swimmers!
For several years Shirley Swan divided her time, coaching three nights a week at her own pool as well as travelling to Nyah on two nights of each week to coach on a voluntary basis. On the nights Shirley was at the Nyah pool, parents would supervise Shirley’s coaching program at Swan’s Swim Centre. As the club grew Aud Lewis began to coach full time at the Nyah pool. Nyah Two Bays continued to grow with another group of swimmers from Balranald joining the club. The Balranald “Bay” were coached by the late Janelle Masters at their own town pool.
Later Mandy Holliday was welcomed into the club from Manangatang and soon began to coach a group of swimmers based in the Manangatang pool, under the Two Bays banner.
The members of “Two Bays” were a very resourceful bunch! Nyah pool was a cold pool and with tireless work from Aud and Greg Lewis a fuel heating system was built, thus making swimming more enjoyable for all. In 1984 the club was growing in numbers and it was getting harder to transport swimmers to the district, so the club decided to hire a bus and Arthur Swan would become their voluntary bus driver, to take them every Saturday to the swim meets to compete. This continued till 2002, when Arthur decided to retire from bus driving.
There have many swimmers who can claim to have been members of the Nyah Two Bays Swimming Club. There has been a lot of enjoyment, travelling around much of Australia in the process and learning the value of self discipline and commitment gained through the training program. Nyah Two Bays Swimming Club has been a very successful club and the top club of the District for many years. The Club still holds that honour today! The club has had a number of winners at: Countries, State and regularly at National championships (Honours List).
Nyah Two Bays swimming club have awarded Life Membership for long service to: Aud and Daphne Lewis, Arthur and Shirley Swan, Glenda Harwood, Nola Bruton, Stan Atkins and Jenny Atkins. Swans Swim Centre was sold in 2003 and Nyah Two Bays Swimming Club moved its base to the Swan Hill Leisure Centre, where today swimmers can perform their training sessions in an indoor 25 metre heated swimming pool. The Club amalgamated with Swan Hill Swimming Club in the same year to become Nyah Two Bays / Swan Hill Swimming Club.