Another pool needed

Vernon Kokanee Swim Club member provides reasons why Vernon should build another swimming pool...

This a letter in response to the article, ‘Tour reveals rec centre realities.’ I am a resident of Vernon and a member of the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club (VKSC).

When I read the above article, I got the impression that the only reason Vernon does not want to build another pool is because of cost. Maybe this pool could accommodate more swimmers, but you can’t make an entire city share one 25-metre pool until 2025.

My feeling is the City of Vernon would be seriously short-sighted not to think of those people who really do need more pool space.

I think we need another pool because:

1. The building containing the pool is way too small to hold a swim meet.

2. Because the pool is not a long-course pool (50 metres), we cannot hold meets in the long-course season.

3. Many of my friends at VKSC would like to do recreational swim training, but they can’t because there is no space for both competitive swimming and a recreational tier.

4. As a provincial swimmer, I have gone to many pools in B.C. and Vernon’s pool is one of the worst facilities, which I am ashamed of.

These are my reasons as a Vernon Kokanee swimmer, but I know there are other residents of Vernon who also think we need another pool. Some feel that VKSC has too much pool time and that 7 p.m. is too late for younger children to swim.

Just fixing the present building won’t help those who want to swim more, and we will eventually have to spend the money on another pool anyway.

If we invest in a new, better and bigger recreation complex with a long-course pool, running track, tennis court, basketball court and soccer field, I know the City of Vernon will be glad because it would bring so many opportunities to our community.

With more pool space, I can assure you that many VKSC parents would certainly go swimming to get healthy, as well as children who want to swim just to have fun or keep fit. Maybe Okanagan College could start a swim club? With a bigger building, we could also hold provincial swim meets. A new pool could earn a lot more money than the pool we have now.

Although I appreciate the facility we have, I think we need a whole new recreation complex, and not a just pool.

We could work together to find a way to do it, not just for me, but also for the Vernon Kokanees, for the other swimmers in B.C. and for all residents of our city.

Jade Freeman