Six London communities lost their wading pool over the weekend, because there weren’t enough lifeguards to supervise the area. Shaun Elliott, CEO of YMCA of Western Ontario said that they are essential for every kind of pool, regardless of depth.
“It doesn’t take a huge amount of water to have a serious incident or fatality,” he explained “With small children, and a lot of confusion, kids splashing and running around, anything can happen.” Elliott said lifeguards guarantee pool safety, because they trained to concentrate in busy environments, like public wading pools, and have to go through a criminal record check run by the London Police.
“Sometimes, if we take that stuff for granted, that’s when bad things can happen,” he said.
Although the YMCA of Western Ontario does not have any wading pools, they have swimming pools located in their St. Thomas, Woodstock, and Bob Hayward branches. The Stoney Creek Community Centre, YMCA and Library , a joint project with the City of Lond0n, and the Centre Branch have two pools each. Elliott welcomes anyone to use their facilities, to meet their aquatic needs-even for those who might not be able to afford it.
“Part of the Y mission is to make sure people aren’t turned away because of their ability to afford it, and they would still be welcome.”