LETTER: Sink or swim for 50m pool at Harry Jerome

Dear Editor:

The City of North Vancouver is on the verge of approving a 10-lane, 25-metre pool for the Harry Jerome replacement project. The Harry Jerome facility is in the most easily accessible location on the North Shore whether by car, bike, foot or public transit. If a 50-metre pool is not built now, there is a strong risk that no 50-metre pool will be built for at least another 60 years.

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Most competitive and recreational aquatic sports such as synchronized swimming, water polo and diving require a 50-metre pool to ensure they have sufficient continuous deep water as a safety matter. A pool of 50 metres is a must for recreational swimmers who want to train at longer distances and under competitive swimming standards. An eight-lane, 50-metre pool with a bulkhead in place provides 16 lanes for lap swimming for the public and events simultaneously. It could also allow new sport/studies academies to be offered locally to improve academic performance.

There are no 50-metre pools anywhere on the North Shore and many families with aspiring athletes must travel across the bridges to use other facilities – through traffic.

We’ve got leisure pools and 25-metre pools, but none are long enough or deep enough for anything but splashing around and lap swimming, and if there’s lessons or club swim practice, the public gets crammed into a few cramped lanes or the pool shuts down to the public entirely.

The longest pools on the North Shore are 37.5 metres but 25 metres of that is too shallow for aquatic sports.

The proposed Harry Jerome plans are online at cnv.org. A survey asks if people favour option A or option B, both of which include an “aquatic facility.” Both “options” are for the same 10-lane, 25-metre pool and leisure pool, in different locations within the facility.

Please tell city council that we need a 50-metre pool. Write to them, sign a petition, fill out the online survey telling them the two proposed 25-metre pools aren’t adequate and that a 50-metre pool is needed.

An eight-lane, 50-metre pool will be a versatile, useful and fun environment for everyone on the North Shore to benefit from for years to come. A 25-metre pool will not meet the current or growing needs of the North Shore.

Shane Hopkins-Utter
North Vancouver

Editor’s note: Survey closes this Friday, May 19.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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