Tuesday, September 25, 2018
I was home visiting my parents on the weekend and my mother and I went to a local apple orchard/farm to pick apples. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had a lot of fun.
When we went to pay for our apples the owner told us that all the proceeds were going to the Acton Aqua Ducks Swim Club (actonaquaducks.ca). She has been working with the Aqua Ducks for 19 years and helps every year with a variety of fundraising projects to support their teams. We had a long conversation about my involvement with the pool in the mid to late 1970s when I was on the high school swim team and was a lifeguard and swim instructor. It warmed my heart to hear how the swimming programs and teams have continued to expand for the past 40 years. The pool is now called the The Acton Lions Indoor Pool. Acton has a population of 9,000 and in addition to the pool (which was built onto a school) the town has a hockey arena and an indoor soccer arena. The town has figured out how to make it all work to meet the needs of a variety of ages, interests and abilities in the community.
As our municipal election approaches I am very interested to hear what our candidates have to say about a swimming pool in Haliburton County. It is a conversation that will not be going away. We all hear regularly of people who are driving to Bracebridge for swimming lessons and shopping, or off to Bobcaygeon for swimming lessons and dinner. If we really want to encourage young people to come and live in our county, and raise their families, we need to put our money where our mouths are and provide the services that all young families want. Swimming is accessible from the time a child is born until they are a senior. Water therapy and fitness is essential for people who have injuries or chronic pain. Seniors who want to be active year round would benefit from a pool. If we want to continue to attract excellent doctors we need services that they want in order to raise their families and stay fit themselves. Yes, a pool does cost a lot of money and we, the residents of our county, deserve it.
We all happily support the funding of our hockey arenas and they are well used by the people who play hockey and skate all winter. No one questions that. But there are lots of people who don’t or can’t play hockey or skate. They need alternatives.
It will take a strong vision, leadership, time, fundraising, cooperation, inspiration and lots of energy to make a pool happen. We need it. We deserve it. Let’s elect the people who are willing to have the conversations and work towards solutions.