Chewton men pool their looks for a cause

THE men of Chewton are prepared to sacrifice a bit of dignity to save their beloved swimming pool.Chewton’s Ugliest Man competition begins today, and already 20 residents plan to compete.The competition is historically significant to the small community - the first and last Ugliest Man competition was held in 1944 to raise funds to build the pool.The competition went for two years before a truly worthy recipient was found.Mount Alexander Shire wants to build a $14 million centre in Castlemaine to replace pools in Chewton, Harcourt and Castlemaine. These pools cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain each year.Save Chewton Pool committee member Tony Shaw said the real aim of the Ugliest Man competition was to raise awareness about their concerns and also funds to fight the proposal.“There has been a groundswell in the community. There is a lot of opposition.“I’m a father with school-age children, and this pool is where they have their swimming lessons.“I think we’re a fairly independent community of Castlemaine, and whatever facilities we’ve got we want to keep.”Mr Shaw said talk in the town had turned to the competition, and the more people that turned up the better.It begins at 2pm today at Red Hill Hotel in Chewton.There will be activities for kids and live music from 6pm with Sweet Rock, The Zip Top 9ers and Stan Munroe. Admission is $10.The heats begin at 5pm with contestants parading in pool or beach attire and entries are open until 2pm.

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