Townships, please plan for a pool
I just finished reading the Parry Sound North Star (Wednesday, August 8, 2012.)
In this final week of the Olympics, when we are riveted by the amazing dedication and abilities of so many young and not-so-young athletes who have devoted their lives to excelling in their chosen sports, how fantastic it is to read of our own Parry Sound athletes who are doing so well and making us all proud.
I have this niggling reminder, however, every time I read of local athletic accomplishments, how very much easier and focused their training schedules could be if only we had a swimming pool for practice year round!
Tim Konoval, an Ontario track star and Olympian in the making, is having to change his training schedule due to injury. Surely water-based exercise would help during his injury recovery. Marek Bialkowski does brilliantly in triathlons, in spite of not having a pool locally to train for the swimming portion year-round,. Marek has to travel to a pool which is over an hour away. It is great to see that because of having a soccer field, our young soccer players can be featured in the paper, but it makes me wonder how many more of our children would benefit from year-round access to a pool.
I mentioned our athletes as they are so prominent in the paper this week and I am so very proud of them. However, I also wish that the elderly and physically challenged in our community were able to exercise safely and regularly in a pool. Non-weight bearing exercise as part of a comprehensive physiotherapy program is preferred following many orthopedic surgeries or injuries.
There have been far too many drownings in Ontario this summer. The recommendations resulting from several inquests are invariably that water skills should be learnt at a young age and practiced regularly throughout one’s life. It is never too late to learn how to survive in the water should we need to.
In Parry Sound most of us spend a lot of time in or on the water, especially during a summer as hot as this one. We need our young people to know how to swim, how to tread water and we should all know how to safely help ourselves and others should we run into difficulties in the water.
Year-round swimming, water-safety and exercise programs are offered in so many similar-sized and even smaller communities to ours, yet here, our seven municipalities don’t seem to be even talking about it as part of their long-term planning together for the needs of our community.
I am politely requesting that discussions take place among the West Parry Sound Municipal decision-makers and that their long-range planning processes incorporate planning for a community pool as one more motivator for a healthy, attractive and active community in which to live and bring up our families.