Pool: private or public?

At the Port Hardy Aquatic Centre does the private renter take precedence?

Dear editor,

I sent this off to a number of people through the District—thought you might want to be ‘in the loop’.

It has happened before, I gear up and head to the Aquatic Centre in Port Hardy and, to my frustration, aquafit has been cancelled (though the lanes remain open).

So instead, I begrudgingly do lengths, because I am already there, and I try to be sympathetic to the fact that teaching aquafit is a specialization that not everyone has and we don’t always have enough instructors to cover when someone is sick. It’s unfortunate, but it happens.

When it happens time and again, in truth, I do lose interest in making the effort to gear up for the pool and, for a long while, I had stopped going entirely. I acknowledge, though, that sometimes there is nothing they can do to rectify the situation in that moment.

With an awesome set of swim lessons that we put my oldest daughter into, we were encouraged to make our way back to the pool.

May 29 was one of those nights I geared up the family, already dressed in our swimsuits and headed to the Aquatic Centre for family swim time at 6pm and — lo and behold — a sign. I had seen it before and had hoped then that it was an anomaly, it read “FAMILY SWIM CLOSED FOR PRIVATE RENTAL”.

Frustrated. That just scratches the surface of what I was feeling. Try explaining to a very excited 2-year-old that we can’t go swimming because someone has deeper pockets than we do.

The recreational activities are already limited at best in Port Hardy, especially for young families. One would think with the already limited pool access, that the Aquatic Centre would do what it could to promote physical activity and capitalize on promoting pool usage as much and as often as possible.

Can someone please explain to me then why the pool is being rented out when it has been reserved for public use?

How are the citizens of Port Hardy and surrounding area supposed to be encouraged to use the facilities when such a thing occurs?

As a community, we need to be doing so much better, and we need to expect so much more from our public services. Private rentals should not come at the cost of a regularly scheduled public event.

People are not going to continue using the pool when it has been made clear that the private renter takes precedence. Or maybe because we have such limited services they feel they can afford to take a hit in the eye of their users, and perhaps they are right, because I will likely be gearing up again only because I won’t punish my children for something that is beyond their control.

I won’t be going without a phone call first, though, and I am not likely to suggest heading for the pool to other families any time soon.

Krista Minar

Port Hardy

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