Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Sporadic opportunities for Adult Swim program make for Council presentations and frustrations from pool users

Reduced opportunities for Adult Only Swims at the Earl Mah
Aquatic Centre made for a conversation topic for participants
in the public comment period of the Council Session Monday

The apparent reduction in scheduled opportunities for the Adult Swim program at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre made for a focus for a few of the members of the Gallery at Monday's City Council session, with three members of the public speaking to the topic.

The Opportunity for them to address the issue coming after Mayor Herb Pond added a correspondence to the City from one of the delegation to the night's Consent Agenda, a move which cleared the way for the public commentary to follow.

Among the issues raised was that the Adult Swim option is one that is the area most removed from the schedule with little to no warning.

The delegation was made up of a teacher and a pair of health care employees who noted that the time allocated for the Adult Swim was a valued part of their regimen and other working professionals for use of the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre.

Some snapshots of their presentations include:

"I saw regularly between 35 to 45 regular users of this time if not more, very rarely fewer and it was working professionals in our community, it was port workers, health services workers, it was teachers it was you know these people for whom the schedule didn't always work and it was a valuable time"

"I am a Mental Health and Substance use clinician at Northern Health so I deal with a lot of folks who are struggling with their Mental Health and the Adult Swim is an opportunity for a lot of people to engage in recreation ... without the presence of youth or children and I think it's an important service for the community to have access to"

The final contribution came from a health care worker in the community who outlined how the Adult Swim program was a valuable element for him.

"The pool is actually a really important way for me to decompress after some very hectic shifts, especially with the Adult Swim ... it's a little more settled than during a lot of public swims and so it's a really big part in me being able to do my job in a way that helps my clients and helps me still do my job and live my own life"

The topic came up for discussion as Part of the Consent Agenda through a request from Councillor Teri Forster. 

The City's Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller outlined some of the background towards the frequent cancellations; as well as to note that she had asked for the Recreation Complex to revisit the decision.

"Until receiving the letter today and the comments, I was only aware of one or two people that had any questions with respect to the schedule, so I do appreciate hearing the feedback.

The swim was adjusted to accommodate the schedule that we have in the summer and the amount of lifeguards that we have. There are certain requirements within the Lifesaving Society of how many guards you can have on,  dependent on the number of people. The minute you go past 45 it jumps significantly.

With that said, I have reached out to the Rec complex staff to ask them to find a way to see if we can look to incorporate at least one adult only Swim within the Aquatic Centre, so that is something that the staff will took at to see if that is something that is feasible"

Ms. Miller also outlined some of the challenges related to the Deep Water Aquafit program at the pool.

From that Ms. Forster asked towards the level of interest required for the programs to operate and suggested bringing back at least one night for the Adult Swim program.

Councillor Niesh asked towards the summer schedule and from his question came an advisory that this year the city is looking at a Pool maintenance schedule that would take place in September, keeping the pool open through to the start of September.

You can review the full commentary from those seeking sone time in the Pool from the City's Video archive, it's a discussion that pops in and out of the comment period starting at the 47 minute mark

Council's discussion of the topic can be found at the one hour twelve minute mark.

More notes related to the Monday Council Session can be explored from our archive page.

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