City wont open adult swim to all ages

Alison Sebastian
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City wont open adult swim to all ages

Monday, Nancy Wollner-Epoch, asked city council to think about changing adult noon hour swims at the Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool to a lap swim for all ages.
Wollner-Epoch is a local athlete and mother of two young swimmers who addressed city council about the topic, saying the noon hour adult swim was put in place 20 years ago, but the time has come for some changes.
Wollner-Epoch told council the months she was concerned about were July and August, since during this time both the Kinsmen Sportsplex indoor pool and the Phyllis Dewar outdoor pool run noon hour adult swims.
She wanted council to think about expanding the adult only swim to include all ages at the outdoor pool, while maintaining the adult only swim at the indoor pool.
"Our youth need to have more options for physical fitness," said Wollner-Epoch explaining her reasoning for the request.
She said having the time available for lap swimming would allow for more training time and provide an alternative time for laps swimming for children and youth who want to swim for fitness reasons.
She acknowledged there is lap swimming during public swim hours but said it is nearly impossible to do laps uninterrupted during this time.
Having the adult swim made into lap swimming would perhaps help overweight youth or children who do not feel comfortable going to public swimming to come swim laps to improve their fitness, suggested Wollner-Epoch.
She also noted changing the adult swim would benefit users who like to swim laps with their children and would increase the users during a time when the pool is under utilized.
The number of people who generally use the outdoor and indoor pool during the noon hour adult swim ranges from 13 to 25 people at each venue, depending on the month, according to Jody Hauta, the director of parks and recreation.
Later in the meeting, city council reviewed a recommendation by the parks and recreation advisory board to maintain the existing outdoor pool adult noon hour swim.
Hauta said the majority of people surveyed who frequented adult noon hour swim said they were OK with opening up the time to youth.
Mayor Dale McBain asked why a pilot program to open up the adult time was not tried.
Hauta said the advisory committee reviewed the hours available for youth and family and saw the only exclusive time for adults was the noon hour swim.
City council approved the recommendation for the adult noon hour swim to be maintained.
Councillor Al Schwinghamer was the sole councillor to vote against the motion.
Wollner-Epoch said she was disappointed with the decision as she was hoping to be able to swim laps with her kids in the outdoor pool this summer.
But said she was glad council addressed the issue and said hopefully it would look at it again next year.

Alison Sebastian can be reached
at 691-1265.

Organizations: Phyllis Dewar Outdoor Pool

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Recent comments

  • connie
    September 18, 2009 - 17:54

    I just read the Mayor's Welcome on the city's website.

    Perhaps the Mayor's Welcome gives a better understanding of what is important in Moose Jaw; i.e., the welcome is mostly or all about tourism and the many reasons why it is a good place to visit. There is very little mention regarding the quality of life for its citizens and why they should live there other than to say in the last paragraph in one short sentence, that Moose Jaw is a great city in which to live, work, play and do business.

    While the mayor emphasizes why it is a good place to visit, he doesn't mention WHY it is a good place to live.

    Denying wholesome, healthy activities to children and families does not make it a great place to live and play.

  • connie
    September 18, 2009 - 17:30

    I am STUNNED! by this decision made by the Advisory Committee.

    Children and youth need every opportunity possible especially during the, nothing to do, summer months to do wholesome and healthy activities such as swimming.

    Most people were quick to criticize the parents for the vandlism taking place in the city, yet at the same time a parent is being denied the use of a pool to do something healthy and wholesome with her children. INCREDIBLE!

    The decision to deny children and youth the use of the pool is INCOMPREHENSIBLE!

    Mr. McBain was on the right track re a pilot program. Why was his idea over-ridden?

    The fact that this rule has been in effect for 20 years and the Advisory Committee decided to stick to a 20-year-old decision says alot about how decisions are made in Moose Jaw whether it is the city or the school system; that is, we've done it this way for 50 years so why change!!!

    The worst part about how these decisions are made is that children and youth seem not to be important. The way children and youth are treated in a society says eveything about the values of that society. Does MJ really value its children and youth?

    What would the NEW Youth Advisory Committee have to say about this decision? Were they involved with this decision?

    Mr. McBain needs to over ride this decision and have it reversed -- it's only the second day of summer with two long, hot months left. It's not too late to reverse this decision.

  • jerry
    September 18, 2009 - 17:24

    Sad, not a single reason in the world other than a generation that is willing to forget about the quality of life for another. Imagine if we said the park can only be used by adults from 12-1 or if the streets were off limits friday to sunday for 16-17 year olds or how about no food for children under 18 from 8am till 6pm. none of this makes sence. What about youth that work and would like a swim at lunch hour. Or heck maybe a mom who doesnt get another chancein the day to get to spend a moment with her kids. I guess im rambling, but the point is its borderline sick to not have a place for youth at all times.

  • gary
    September 18, 2009 - 17:22

    I have read with interest, the comments that others have submitted.

    I question the decision of Council. In who's best interests was the decision made.

    Let's keep denying our youth opportunities, and continue to ask ourselves why they leave the province.

    Given the comments from others, especially those ADULTS who do participate in the noon hour swim, whom were never consulted regarding the issue, was the decision taken by Council based on accurate information. I would suggest not.

    What message is being sent to our youth/children when decisions like this are being made.

    I would also suggest that the swimming facilities in the City of Moose Jaw have the required equipment to make swim times amenable to all who want to participate.

  • Ron
    September 18, 2009 - 16:59

    I use the pool during adult swim and was never questioned about this first of all. Would I have a problem with this - no. The people I swim with - I do not think they would have a problem with this. Who is this advisory board? If people want to use the pool let them use it. We are trying to build a mulitplex in this town and we cannot even accomodate people in the swimming pool. We have beautiful facilities lets use them. Does this cost extra too the tax payer - No!! Will it bring in more revenue - Yes (More Swimmers at times that are not being used to their potential). This is a no brainer. Has this advisory board every used the swimming pool or a recreation facility???

  • Jake
    September 18, 2009 - 16:52

    Not a very progressive decision. Should have been such a simple decision to go from Adult Swim to Adult Swim and Open Lap Swim . Lets hope the Advisory Committee are not allowed to decide more complex issues.

  • Lisa
    September 18, 2009 - 16:50

    I don't believe that it is the city's responsibility to entertain the youth who live here in Moose Jaw. I don't agree with Nancy Wollner-Epoch when she said that children don't have the opportunity to swim laps during public swim times. Most swimmers who swim during public swim times have been very considerate and accomodating, in my experience. Children who are overweight or shy about swimming in large groups are going to face even larger challenges in life, and I certainly don't believe a one-hour swim with adults rather than children will have such a significant impact that they stop feeling shy or self-conscious or whatever. As far as her and others saying that this is such an important way to encourage youth to be active, it seems to me that their saying that discounts all of the other options that are out there, including options youth should be encouraged to create for themselves. The Y next door to the outdoor pool also has weight and cardio rooms, a gymnasium and sports courts, along with a myriad of other activities. Denying youth one hour of swimming each day for five days of the week is not denying them the opportunity to live an active lifestyle, so I think people who are disappointed in the advisory committee's decision are overreacting a tad. Adults need space to be alone without children sometimes too, even if it is only for one measely hour out of a day.

  • Ron
    September 18, 2009 - 16:07

    That is the way this city is run and they think to keep youth here we need a multiplex!! Wonder if they will be allowed inside? Depends on what the advisory board says I guess? Kids can not go swimming and get exercise and we make rules about that but we can not stop them from drinking and wrecking Main street during street days. Seems a little backwards to me!

  • Moose Jaw
    September 18, 2009 - 16:02

    I believe that Adults wishing to keep up their fitness should have the opportunity to swim without having to contend with young adults and/or children. I, as a parent used to take my children to the pool with the intention of getting the exercise along with them. They grew older and were able to utilize the pool at any public swim time. As young adults they didn't want to be seen with their parent, which is part of the process of becoming an independent adult. As an adult, I appreciate not having to contend with younger swimmers that are able to enjoy swim time at any public time with or without a parent along with them.