In early 2022, the pool at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre will celebrate its 40th anniversary; for those four decades it has served this community well. Thousands of elementary school-aged children have participated in its school-based swimming program – for some, that would have been their first and perhaps only exposure to a most important life-long skill.
Late afternoon hours would find other children, ages five or six to early teens, enroled in Red Cross lessons; many would progress through all levels of that skill development. Moms, or dads, and tots lessons familiarized infants and small children with how to experience water in a familiar and fun activity. Weekends and evenings would see teens spending time with their pals, just hanging out in the water — a place where they could have fun under the watchful eyes of certified lifeguards.
Beyond the children who use the pool, we must recognize the various opportunities for adults: aquafit, deep water running, masters’ swimming, time set aside for lap swimming early in the morning and in the evening. Also, a great draw in May through August is the Quesnel Sea Lions competitive swim club, a unique family-based activity that is been a part of this community for 50 years. More recently, the Waveriders Swim Club provides swim training for upwards of 10 months a year. Yet another important contribution afforded thanks to our pool.
All of this is to provide some context for the community to consider when contemplating the important upgrades and maintenance you are being asked to support in the upcoming Referendum. The pool is a vital component of the services offered to the citizens of the Quesnel and District Sub-Regional Recreation.
Like the West Fraser Centre, Rink 2 and West Fraser Timber Park, like the Bike parks and other City parks, the Riverfront Trail and other City Trails, our pool is a vital facility that people in our community rely on. It had been, and continues to be, well-used by all who live in the City and member areas of the Cariboo Regional District.
The maintenance proposed in the referendum is critical. After 40 years, our pool’s mechanical infrastructure needs attention such that safety is becoming an issue. What a loss it would be if the pool was closed because health and safety reasons. The changes proposed – the larger leisure/therapy pool and lazy river, and the enlarged swirl pool – will only add to the pool’s appeal to those who visit or decide to make Quesnel their home.
“Areas with strong infrastructure and new facilities have a proven advantage in attracting new investment, potential workers, and those with a variety of residency options, such as retirees.” (City information handout on the Referendum).
We urge you to cast your ballot — and would encourage you to vote in favour of this upgrade.
Doug and Sally Service
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