As someone who isn’t especially crazy about swimming in public pools, I am excited by the current momentum towards replacing our city’s aging aquatic facility.
I understand I’m not alone in my enthusiasm. A city survey on the future of the SASCU Recreation Centre received more than 2,000 responses – an impressive number according to the consultants who have incorporated the public input into various upgrade/replacement options that will be on display at an open house scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the rec centre. (Free public swim included!) Shuswap Recreation Society operations manager Dale Berger hopes there will be a large turnout, as public feedback will influence what happens next.
About my aversion to public pools – since I mentioned it, I might as well provide some background. It began in my early elementary school years, when the mind is susceptible to the loving but sometimes ill-conceived actions of parents. Since I loved swimming, my folks signed me up for lessons at the old Percy Norman pool in Vancouver (replaced by a fantastic facility). The lessons themselves weren’t an issue (though I came to loathe the kick board). No, it was my parents’ decision a new swimsuit was required for the occasion – a tight pair of tiny, bright orange metallic Speedos. Perhaps a more physically fit kid might have appreciated them, but for me, a pasty, chubby dumpling of a child, having to wear that swimsuit amounted to childhood trauma in the making.
My son loves to swim, so a visit to the Salmon Arm pool has become a fairly standard outing for our family. When we’re out of town, be it in Revelstoke, Kelowna or Vernon, a stop at the pool is typically part of the visit. And seeing what other community pools have to offer is part of what’s fueling my excitement about where we could go with ours. In addition to an enlarged swim area for families and toddlers, I’d love to see a water slide, as well as a large lazy river that could be used for therapeutic exercise (as Berger suggests) or just recreational fun.
I’m hoping Salmon Arm residents jump in on this opportunity to help shape the future of recreation in our community.