A push for more fun at Vernon’s new pool is making a splash.
The current plan for the new $121 million Active Living Centre doesn’t include any permanent water park features except for one tot slide.
Yet a 2018 survey of more than 2,282 households showed that a new leisure pool was the No. 1 priority for residents.
“Lap pools are cold and water temperatures are slow to change, so occasionally adding removable wave balls, monkey bars and inflatable Witbit terrain features to the 50 metre lap pool really will not address Vernon’s need for a fun water park in a satisfactory manner,” said Vernon mom Linda Settler. “Essentially the new Active Living Centre plan is much like the existing Vernon Recreation Centre aquatic centre: it’s a cold lap pool and a warm tot pool, with the main difference being the lap pool is enlarged to 50 metres from the current 25 and a tot slide is planned in place of the corkscrew slide. Why?”
While the new pool will offer more space for swim meets and lap swimming, Settler is disappointed there is no plan for water park features like those found at the H2O centre in Kelowna.
“The new Active Living Centre plan offers little to entice young people to get off their screens and move their bodies with friends, so they stay healthy mentally and physically.”
Some families will still drive to Kelowna’s facility, but Settler asks how many car trips to Kelowna equals the energy needed to run a Flowrider that can help youth excel in sports such as snowboarding and wakeboarding?
“When you look at rates of depression, addiction, and poor health in young people, you start to realize that supporting recreation for those fun-loving youth who are not into competitive sports (we are talking about a lot of local kids!) is really important in reducing costs to the health care system, and even law enforcement down the road,” Settler said.
She isn’t the only one pushing for more fun features.
Close to 3,000 people have signed an online change.org petition called: Vernon Needs a FUN Aquatic Centre, Not Just a Big, Cold Lap Pool and Tot Pool.
The petition is stated to be be delivered to Vernon mayor and council.