Pool blues

Resident challenges the activities at the Vernon aquatic centre

On a recent Saturday, my five-and-half-year-old daughter and I decided to attend the Vernon Recreation Complex for the public afternoon swim (1:30 to 4 p.m.). We arrived promptly at 1:30 p.m. and quickly got into the pool. Within a short time, the pool was busier than I have ever seen it. At one point, I counted more than 100 children, plus adults.

My daughter was quite excited to use the water slide at the pool.

We waited until 2:45 p.m. and the staff at the pool had still not opened the water slide.

I asked one of the lifeguards when they were going to open the water slide?

The response was, “we don’t have enough staff today, so we are not sure if we are going to open the water slide today at all.”

Meanwhile, there was a children’s birthday party being held at the pool and the children who were attending the party were able to use the water slide, but the public was not.

The staff even went so far as to post a sign at the entrance of the water slide, which stated “birthday party use only.”

Finally at 3 p.m., they opened the slide for about 10 minutes, which was not near enough time for all of the children who were waiting for a turn.

This was the only time the water slide was open for the entire 1:30 to 4 p.m. public swim.

To clarify, this is not the first time this scenario has occurred when we have attended the public swim sessions on a weekend.

It appears as though the city’s decision-making process and priorities are not well aimed.

The city spends copious amounts of money making the outside of the recreation complex appealing to the eye, yet the pool and facilities within the complex could easily be equated to something from circa 1980.

For my hard earned money, I will make the drive to H2O in Kelowna (yes, I will gladly incur the fuel cost and time to drive there), as I can be assured when I arrive and pay the rate of admission, there will be enough staff and all of the water slides and areas (lazy river, wave pool, etc.) within the facility will be open the entire day. A neat concept.

Jody Marshall

Vernon