Dear City of Victoria
I have recently become aware that you will soon be making a decision regarding the future of Crystal Pool. Before you make that decision I would like to share my thoughts on this matter with the hope that you will take them into consideration.
I am a resident of Victoria and frequently swim (and coach) at Crystal Pool. Twenty years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Ten years ago I found it difficult to walk more than a block and had become a “shut-in” while I awaited a cure. Afraid for my future I made a decision to wait no longer, made my way to the community pool and have been swimming my way to good health ever since.
I am currently on no medication for MS, manage a full time job and actively volunteer in my community. None of this would have been possible had I not had access to my community pool.
While I swim at Crystal Pool I see a number of people actively managing their health as I do mine. On weekday mornings I see a Masters swim group on one side of the pool and a group of public swimmers and water walkers (mostly seniors) on the other side. By 10am the shallow end is packed with seniors participating in aqua-fit and the deep end busy with public lane swimmers and a senior masters swim group. I am fairly certain some of the masters are well into their seventies which I find incredibly inspiring.
In the afternoon there remains a steady stream of swimmers with young children in the shallow end of the pool, many taking their first swim lesson, and some of Victoria’s more proficient youth swimmers at their swim team practice in the deep end of the pool. Sometimes I see our Para swimmers swimming laps in a small space between the youth swimmers and swim lessons.
As afternoon turns into evening, swimmers continue to jump in the water. There are aqua-fit classes, water polo and swim lessons just before dinner. And then later Special Olympics, more swim lessons and public swim. A little later in the evening the Masters swimmers workout in the deep end while the public swimmers use the shallow end.
Each and every time I swim at Crystal Pool what I see is a pool that is being used, from one end to the other – completely.
As you think about the future of Crystal Pool I ask that you think about the pool’s capacity and the future of all of these groups. I ask that the decision you make include preserving the current amount of swim space in order that all of these groups of citizens can continue to use the pool to actively manage their health.
A pool any smaller than the current size would mean a number of people being shut out. For some of our more vulnerable citizens the ultimate result of being shut-out is becoming a shut-in, something none of our citizens need to be.
Thank you for your consideration.