Bruce II preps for more swimmers.
PORT AUX BASQUES, NL – Now that the Bruce II Sports Centre has re- opened the pool after recent upgrades, it looks like more swimmers than ever will be enjoying the water. Aquatics supervisor Wanda Merrigan confirmed that about 150 people have registered for swim lessons this fall.
“I’d say we’re up,” said Merrigan about this year’s registration growth. “We’re looking at about 20 per cent.”
Swim lessons are available via group swim or privately for all age groups and skill levels.
The Bruce II also offers various other water programs that are attracting swimmers. The water aerobics program, offered four times a week, is proving popular with seniors.
Infants and parents can partake through the Parents & Tots program thanks to the carefully regulated water temperature, which is kept between 29.5 and 30 degrees.
“It’s comfortable for small children,” says Merrigan.
The pool hosts seniors’ swim three times a week, and an open swim daily in case anyone feels like popping over for a quick dip. Family programs are available twice a week, and there are adult swim programs and lap swims as well.
The lifeguards have also had training on how to work with autistic children, and the Bruce II works with local group Autism Involves Me, to host a swim for the kids on Mondays.
As with most pools, the Bruce II lifeguards are constantly undergoing regular training. Facilities manager and recreation director Robyn Noseworthy noted that 13 lifeguards have recently completed national training.
“They’re all at the highest level of certification they can have to be a guard on deck,” she said. And there will be more training for the lifeguards in December.
One of those watching over swimmers is Jonathan Billard, who has been a lifeguard for two months.
“I’ve done nationals,” confirmed Billard, who took to lifeguarding this summer because he found he had too much free time on his hands. The 16-yearold Port aux Basques resident also took advantage of the fact that lifeguarding counts as a gym credit for school.
“Seeing the lessons thrive on this side is something really great,” said Noseworthy who, like Merrigan, has an aquatics background. “We’re lowering drowning statistics. We’re increasing physical activity, physical literacy, all of these things. And we’re super happy that the lessons are going up through the amount of people that we have registered, as well as the people that do come on a regular basis.”
The Bruce II offers plenty of choice for southwest coast residents when it comes to selecting an aquatics program.
Like all of the lifeguards at the Bruce II pool in Port aux Basques, Jonathan Billard is constantly undergoing training.