The Tofino Pool Society officially introduced itself to Tofino’s municipal council on June 7.
The society hopes to bring an indoor pool facility to Tofino and was invited to present to council after Coun. Cathy Thicke suggested the Tofino Recreation Commission treated the society unfairly during an April 20 commission meeting.
The invitation was accepted and local swimming instructor Emily Carswell spoke on behalf of the society during council’s June 7 meeting.
“There is a demand in Tofino for an accessible pool facility that enhances children’s long-term aquatic growth and development as well as an aquatic environment that is therapeutic for seniors and accessible to all other ages,” Carswell said.
“Our vision is to supply the demand by creating a pool facility with an attached classroom known as the education centre.”
She said the education centre could be a valuable resource for a variety of organizations.
“The education centre can also act as a hub to foster higher learning within the community. A place where first aid courses are welcome as well as training of other personnel, such as: the fire department, BC Ambulance Services and the RCMP,” she said.
“A place where universities can hold residencies and distance courses in the future as online education is growing progressively. A place where students who visit Tofino can contribute to our learning community and feel welcome.”
She suggested the facility could potentially include a sauna and therapeutic hot tub.
“There’s also the potential for aquatic communities to thrive here in Tofino, such as lifesaving, water polo, canoe polo, underwater hockey, underwater rugby, fin swimming, synchronized swimming, scuba diving and astronaut training,” she said. “When it comes to children and their imaginations, possibilities are endless.”
She said the society is currently investigating alternative energy options like solar and geothermal power to keep the facility’s operating costs low and is exploring alternative funding sources like accredited universities, the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada and The Canadian Red Cross.
She added crowd funding could also be an option.
“Little campaigns have the potential to go a long way online,” she said.
She assured the society would keep council up to speed on its efforts.
“We are currently in the planning and fundraising stage but we are very committed to working together as the Tofino Pool Society and with our communities at large,” she said.
Coun. Cathy Thicke thanked the society for attending the meeting.
“I appreciate your energy and enthusiasm and your volunteer diligence,” she said.
Coun. Al Anderson echoed this sentiment.
“I appreciate the energy that you’re putting in towards quite an old dream, in a way, for Tofino,” he said.
Coun. Duncan McMaster noted finding enough funds to cover a pool’s operational costs would be a significant hurdle to overcome.
“Obviously, I think everybody around this table would love to see a pool. I’m sure you know that there’s always been concerns about the operating costs,” he said. “I wish you all the best.”
Mayor Josie Osborne encouraged the society to keep in touch
“I wish you the best of luck and look forward to you keeping us informed,” she said.