Swim club decimated by pool closure

I am writing you as the Penticton Pikes Summer Swim Club registrar who has three sons in the club.

I am writing you as the Penticton Pikes Summer Swim Club registrar who has three sons in the club.

We ask that Penticton city council votes to open the new pool as scheduled on March 31.

Penticton Pikes is a summer swim club that operates from May to August every year. If the pool does not open as scheduled this spring and opens in the fall, we will lose out on another whole season. Our swim club has been absolutely decimated by the closure of the Penticton pool, as last season we lost 75 per cent of our swimmers. I’m afraid our club could not survive another season without the pool in Penticton in operation.

Penticton Pikes is the oldest local swim club, as we have been in operation for almost 60 years. We have been to meets where we have noticed 20-year-old records still held by Pikes athletes. It will be very sad and unfortunate if this legacy dies if council votes to delay the opening of the pool.

Normally, Penticton hosts a swim meet each season. This brings hundreds of families and much-needed revenue into our community. How embarrassing it will be for us when all the other summer swim clubs in the province realize we are not hosting a swim meet again this year because our city council has voted to delay the opening of our wonderful, new facility even though it is completed and ready for operation. If the pool opens on schedule as planned and we are able to host a swim meet, what a great opportunity it will be for us to show off our new pool/community centre and city.

Pikes was originally attractive to our family as we are busy with other sports during the winter months. We wanted to keep our kids active and we realized that Pikes is a phenomenal maintenance activity for all sports. Pikes encourages multi-sport athletes to swim with our club.

As well, we are very much a family-oriented swim club. Our three sons can all practise at the same time. What other sport offers siblings the chance to practise together, when they are four years apart in age? We go to swim meets together as a family and all the kids, plus my husband, compete. This is so much different than most other sports, where we are running in three different directions most weekends. Penticton Pikes is the ultimate family sport.

We as a club cannot risk missing another season in our Penticton pool. We are in the rebuilding process and we need to keep our registration costs affordable to attract new swimmers. Obviously, the temporary closing of the Penticton pool was beyond our club’s control. If the pool does not open as scheduled, we are in great danger of losing a Penticton legacy.

I really hope Penticton city council considers what their decision could do to the Penticton Pikes Swim Club.

Margot Heintz, registrar

Penticton Pikes Summer Swim Club