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.
Wonderfully said and spot on!
You inspire me Susan! What a terrific letter!
Lovely! Well-explained and good for you for speaking up. It is said that for every 1 person who takes the time to write, there is at least 10 more people with the same opinion.
Hydrotherapy is the only form of exercise my body can tolerate as I suffer from chronic pain and illness. I am sure there are a number of pool users in your area who will be in the same category. Take away the most effective and only method of maintaining mobility and fitness, and these people will ultimately lose their current standard of health and independence and require extra long-term support.
Every community needs a pool.
Thanks for taking the time for writing this Susan!
We have many patrons at Crystal Pool very much like yourself. The pool is their lifeline to recovery and healthy living, as well as those who come to maintain fitness and some who just regard it as their community meeting place.
I enjoy my work every morning, getting to know all of our patrons and would feel heartbroken not to see their smiling faces
Yes, Susan, this is so true! Crystal is a community facility that truly serves the full spectrum of users in and around its catchment.
Thank you for writing this! I agree 100%.
The reason I’m employed at aquatic centres is the benefits I believe swimming has on health, spiritually and physically, as swim club gave me an outlet through my high school years. Later, it gave me a way to pay my way through university and now it becomes a way to pass the day with a little girl of my own. Crystal Pool may be one of the many pools in the GVA, but it’s central. Its huge, and its one that people of all demographics go to since you can easily access it from the downtown core on a lunch break etc, not to mention the way it explodes with volume during the summer with camps etc. Like you said, I love the value Crystal Pool has through the community it greats for its users.