LETTER: Area needs another pool, not a construction closure

I live in Parksville and participate in aquafit classes three or more days a week.

(Ravensong) pool is often overcrowded as it is the only pool in the area; people come from as far as Nanoose/Lantzville to the south and Bowser or further to the North. The population of baby boomers is increasing here, and they realize aquafit is not only a fitness attraction but a social one. They also know that swimming is one of the best exercises as we age.

Unfortunately it is getting out of control; not only is there inadvertent contact due to overcrowding during the class, but the female change room is totally inadequate for these class sizes. Considering the increase in active, taxpaying individuals relocating to this area (just look at the number of new homes being built), who expect this type of facility, these needs deserve to be foremost in future plans!

Some flaws I see with a renovation approach and long closure are: lack of consideration of the health of current users, not only aquafit, but the youth and people who use it for therapy. Renos will not address adequately the overcrowding or the size or number of lane lengths. Demographics are changing and facilities must be available to address overall needs.

Parksville Qualicum Beach hopes to draw younger families — what better way than facilities that encourage coming together for fitness? Because of the overcrowding of the change room I come early and leave before the class is over to avoid the congestion — there are often over 80 people in the pool, all dispersing at the same time, as well as colliding with the next class coming in. We need another facility, ideally another tank with adequate change rooms and a gym added — not a year without a facility.

We moved to Parksville 10 years ago. Aquafit is an amazing way to stay moving, keep fit and healthy, no matter age or fitness level. I have participated in aquafit for many years, and would not have moved to a location that was without a pool to provide this program.

Pat Kayll

Parksville

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