A little discussion could go a long way at the Aquatic Centre

By David F. Rooney

Concerns about the Aquatic Centre’s summer hours expressed by some athletes can be easily dealt with simply by talking with Parks, Rec and Culture Director Kerrie Dawson.

“I’m accessible,” she said in an interview regarding complaints by athletes training for the Penticton ironman competitions in August.

The complaint was outlined in a letter from Ann-Marie Gill (it was also signed by Courtney Rennie, Mardi Syrnyk, Atsuko Knight and Liz Kozak) to Dawson. The letter was also sent to The Current. In her letter, Gill states:

“It is my understanding that the pool hours are being reduced and that there may be limited access to the lap lane.  I am writing this letter on behalf of a number of athletes who are training for events, including Ironman at the end of August.  Athough this may seem irrelevant, many of us are employed full time and have families which means that we are already limited with when we can sneak in our swim work outs.

“I understand that pool hours need to be economically viable, but I argue that pool access needs to be equitably fair, especially for pass holders.  I would like to suggest that although Aquaducks is a valuable program, there should be provision for at least one lap lane during pool hours where other members of the public can swim.”

Aquatic Centre Manager Karen Scott told Gill the new hours are Monday to Friday 6:30 am-8 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday noon-6 pm.

“During the week you will be able to swim in the am,” Scott told Gill in an e-mail. “This will change June 28 when Swim Club will have the lap pool 7 am to 9 am. Evening swim you can swim after 6:15 -8:00 until May 31. From May 31 to August 19 you can swim from 6:45-8 pm.”

But Gill said the adult athletes really need at least one lap lane.

Dawson, however, said the Aquaducks have actually rented the pool for the times they need to train their 75 swimmers.

She said she is sympathetic to the Ironman contestants’ concerns and believes it can all be worked out amicably. All they need to do is call her.