Benefits of a pool
There is a long list of reasons why having a pool or aquatic centre in our community would be a good thing. This is a list the committee came up with, but we would appreciate your suggestions and supportive comments. Email us your comments.
Excercise is a huge component of staying healthy, both physically and mentally. It is thought that swimming can prolong your life. Swimming and aquatic aerobic excercise are excellent, low-impact, activities anyone can do to improve health and cardiovascular function (good heart and lungs).
Swimming is particularily important for seniors as it allows seniors to exercise their entire body with minimal stress, due to the buoyancy of water. Benefits include building bone density, increasing endurance and physical mobility.
Swimming not only is a way to stay healthy, it is also a preventative measure for health. Swimming can help prevent locomotive impairments, visual problems and development disabilities that are associated with stroke and cerbral palsy. It also helps with stiffness and pain associated with arthritis.
Swimming also helps to decrease stress, build positive memories of family and community, which all can lead to improved mental wellbeing.
Click this link to read more about some of the benefits of swimming.
Medical benefits of a Pool
From a medical perspective swimming and aquatic activities have a number of benefits. Being in water helps take stress off of joints and allows those with arthritis to remain active. Being active in water can also assist those who are recovering from various types of injuries.
As a form of exercise, swimming can prevent type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Swimming can improve one’s mood and overall sense of well being. It is also beneficial for preserving one’s memory as we age.
Swimming is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise and very good for burning calories. It helps build muscle mass and is a great form of cross training for those actively involved in other sports.
Swimming is an activity that we can start from when we are very young and continue to when we are elderly. It is an activity that can truly be enjoyed by all and we can all be healthier in the process.
Article submitted by Dr. Davy Dhillon, Vanderhoof
Because activities in water are such low-impact, the use of water
therapy for individuals with chronic pain, work place injuries or
physical disabilities has many advantages. Hydro therapy is not currently available in Vanderhoof. Adding hydro therapy to Rehabilitation is an exciting prospect for our community.
Reducing the risk of breaking bones!
After canvassing my rehab colleagues, we agree there are many reasons why a pool in Vanderhoof would be of benefit to our clients and patients. We meet many people who have major mobility issues and difficulty in moving safely for exercise or strengthening. Many are affected by arthritis, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions which cause pain and disability. Pool exercises reduce the effects of gravity and impact on arthritic joints, frail bones, and weak muscles, improving the effect of resisted exercises. Balance, strength, joint flexibility can all be improved when exercises are done in a pool, and all without the risk of breaking bones in a fall! A separate heated pool at a temperature that is warmer than the swimming pool but cooler than the hot tub would be the best pool for therapeutic exercise.
We all know that obesity is increasing across all age groups, and obesity, coupled with deconditioned muscles, is a leading reason for poor mobility and overall poor health. Exercise groups and programs in a pool would help to decrease the obesity of Vanderhoof's population, for all ages, from the youngest to the oldest.
Additionally, the fun and sociable atmosphere of a pool or pool complex can be a great stimulant for those who are isolated or living alone, providing social and cognitive benefits as well as the physical.
The building of a pool for residents of the Vanderhoof area is strongly supported by the rehab professionals in Vanderhoof, in both Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.
Article submitted by Valerie Pagdin, Occupational Therapist - Vanderhoof
Any small community struggles to find and create activities and opportunities for youth to enjoy and use on a long-term basis. Vanderhoof is no exception. An aquatic centre, like the one we are proposing for Vanderhoof, would provide a variety of areas for youth of any skill level or desire (avid swimmer to those who just want to wade) to enjoy.
Read the article below on the benefits for youth in Vanderhoof and Saik'uz.
Aquatic Centre for Vanderhoof and what it means for Youth
When considering the recreational needs for youth in the Vanderhoof Area, it quickly becomes obvious that there are very few options for youth in this town, when it comes to extracurricular activities. Having operated a Youth Centre for 2-3 years now in Vanderhoof, I see a lot of youth passing through the doors of the Youth Centre. On a very good day we may see 40-50 youth and on a normal day 25-30 youth who are regulars. Some of these youth are picked up by their parents every day, some just want a place to hang out, others are at the fledgling stages of forming a gang and are on a bad road, most just want a safe environment. It never seems to amaze me how the wrong element of youth can attract other more impressionable youth instead of vice versa.
In the short time that I have worked at the Youth Centre, I have seen clean cut naïve individuals migrate to hanging out with “ youth at risk” of the same age. What happens outside the Youth Centre is outside of my control but having a safe, drug/alcohol, swear free supervised environment is a lot better option than the streets. The more of these types of environments that we have for our youth, the more apt they are to make the right decisions, especially during the very impressionable ages of 11-15 years of age.
There are always new faces showing up and they all have one thing in common. They would rather be doing something, be it playing pool, watching a movie, going on the internet etc., rather than hanging out at the local 7/11 or behind the high school, where there are ample opportunities for getting into trouble. There is zero tolerance for bullying at the Youth Centre and this creates a safe haven for youth who come for that very reason. There is also zero tolerance for any type of drug or alcohol and this is strictly enforced. This policy is attractive to youth who have to navigate their way from school to the Youth Center to avoid those who partake in such behavior.
A pool is a great option for youth and families alike. The potential for community building is huge with an aquatic centre as you will have people of all ages, ethnicities and church groups playing together in a positive atmosphere of fun and enjoyment. To invest in such a facility really is an investment in the future of the youth of our communitys’ as well as an investment in the families. In addition I believe it will have a great effect on bringing people from the surrounding area together which in turn will bring about positive changes for Vanderhoof and the neighouring community of Saik’uz.
Article submitted by Reg Mueller AScT
Being situated on the Nechako River, with Stoney Creek and a number of smaller rivers and many lakes surrounding the community and rural areas, having the knowledge and skill to be safe in water is a huge benefit for all of us (adults and children). The link to physical education, long term health and safety for everyone in our community are major benefits for the ability for all members of our community to have access to swimming lessons.
Lifelong Skills, Leadship and Safety
Growing up in a town smaller than Vanderhoof, it makes me ponder why an aquatic centre facility has not already been introduced to the community. I believe that having the basic knowledge and ability to swim is crucial for every age group. There are many benefits to participating in swimming lessons and/or aquatic courses, such as physical activity, basic swimming skills, increase in safety around water, leadership skills, and of course the enjoyment and fun.
In society today people are continually worried about making sure that children are getting enough physical activity in their daily lives. Having a pool would increase the opporutnity for physical activity in our community. It is not only about swimming lessons but also included aqua fit (a type of water exercise) and also private swimming lessons, swimming clubs and other type of events that would have the potential to take place. An aquatic centre provides a place for children to go, where they have challenges and new learning experiences.
Our area has so many summer activities heavily involved with our beautiful lakes and rivers, and being safe near water is an important aspect of having basic swimming skills. Local swimming lessons would mean having direct access to the facility all year around, increasing the ability for anyone to improve their level of swimming ability and water safety skills.
From infants to seniors, an aquatic centre and swimming lessons can open up a world of possibilities. Swimming lessons can teach leadership skills to children and youth and can also be used for educational credits - swimming lessons can be used for high school courses, resumes, and college applications. Being part of a group of people who all are working to acheive the same goal through swimming lessons I believe builds community and increases social skills. The lessons can also lead to future employment within different aquatic facilities. I worked at a pool throughout high school and college and this opportunity allowed me to achieve great skills and helped me pay for school and trips. The skills that are taught and learned at a pool are not just used inside those four walls, I have used those skills many times and still continue to use them in my current employment. From learning how to work with little kids to socializing with all different kinds of people that enter through those doors. Working at the Houston pool I met people from the United States all the way to overseas such as Germany and beyond. I still find it amazing that from attending and participating in swimming lessons the number of opportunities that were open to me.
I 100% truly believe that this community would benefit from local swimming lessons. This community deserves to have another place for youth and others to go to have fun, relax and embrace a new challenge or two. My whole life has been spent at a pool or has in some way involved water, I would never change it for the world. It has made me who I am today and for that I am truly grateful. I use to be a shy child and now I am confident and eager to learn. The people that live in this community would see a whole new world opened up, one that would literally be right at their front door, not an hour or more down Highway 16.
Article submitted by Kerstin Poirier, Lifeguard
There are many recreational opportunties in Vanderhoof - no doubt. However, one large recreational sector is missing - swimming! The Nechako River does provide swimming opportunities, however, the water level and current are not always predicatable, and are not suitable for everyone. The proposed pool has space for the whole family, and provides a safe place for families to get excerise and have fun together.
Recreational benefits of a Community Pool
Living in the north, we receive an average of 6 months of cold weather. In these months we can expect to have snow, ice, rain, and dip into below -30 degree temperature, all of which can keep us home and inside. We know what to expect for weather, and we accept these facts. Although there are many winter specific recreational opportunities here in Vanderhoof, there are few recreational alternatives that do not involved snow and ice! A community pool, that is open year round, is the answer - a place for families to spend the day in a safe, fun and warm environment; a place for seniors to gather and share laughter with friends; a place for people to finally learn how to swim and feel so proud that they finally did it!
The recreational opportunities that come with an aquatic centre include, swimming lessons, aquatic classes, water sports (polo, basketball etc.), diving, syncronized swimming, lap swimming, wading and playtime, an exercise room, aerobics, running, and more.
But there is more to a community pool than the physical and recreational benefits. You will hear many reasons as to why we need a pool here and each and every reason is valid. We want our children to learn how to swim, as we live right beside the Nechako River. We want to offer physiotherapy benefits to those in need. Seniors benefit from having a low impact sport that is not available to them during icy winter months. Expecting moms are also looking for safe ways to exercise during pregnancy and to connect with other moms. A community pool offers a great social network, offers employment opportunities, attracts visitors to the community and it offers everyone a recreational activity, year round.
A swimming pool in Vanderhoof is another opportunity, ontop of many we have here in the north, to truly enjoy our lives, year round, rain or shine, snow or freezing! A community pool would be a cherry on top of everything we already have here in Vanderhoof and would create an even healthier community.
Article submitted by Ashley Kuznak Raby, former Recreation Coordinator
The building of the pool, along with the management of the pool after completion will provide a host of employment opportunities for the community. From students to seniors, the pool will create a number of jobs at varying skill and experience levels for many individuals in the community.
More to come on the benefits for employment opportunities.
A big attraction for keeping tourists in Vanderhoof would be a pool. The economic benefit to the community from have one tourist family stay overnight in Vanderhoof is huge - food, lodging, retail... With having a pool, the likelihood of attracting tourists increases.
Benefits to Tourism
A common question the Vanderhoof Visitor Centre receives in the summer is “Does Vanderhoof have a public swimming pool?” The disappoint that travelers have when Visitor Counselor’s have to say no, the only option for swimming in town is at the river, is very evident. They then ask where the nearest lake is which takes them away from our community. In the other three seasons it gives another option for recreation and compliments the Sports Tourism that our town promotes. Having a pool in Vanderhoof not only attracts more tourists to stop here but encourages them to spend more time here. If people spend more time here they stop at our local businesses and spend their money here. Tourism is the purest form of Economic Development and the largest engine for new business start-ups. From a Tourism perspective the Aquatic Centre would be a welcome addition to Vanderhoof.
Article submitted by Spencer Siemens, Visitor Services Coordinator
Our community is in a time when there is so much potential for economic and social growth, with the prospect of new mines, getting and keeping professionals (medical, education, business) that the attraction of having a pool in the community makes Vanderhoof that much more complete.
"Our small businesses need quality roads and bridges to deliver goods and services. Workers need fast, efficient public transit to connect them to jobs. And growing companies count on high-quality community services, from libraries to hockey rinks, to attract skilled workers."
Quote from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Go to www.icbc.ca for more information.