Go­ing swim­mingly

Bruce II preps for more swim­mers.

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROS­ALYN ROY Ros­alyn.roy@gulfnews.ca Twit­ter: @tyger­lylly

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.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF ELEANOR CLARKE

The Bruce II of­fers plenty of choice for south­west coast res­i­dents when it comes to se­lect­ing an aquat­ics pro­gram.

J. R. ROY / SPE­CIAL TO THE GULF NEWS

Like all of the life­guards at the Bruce II pool in Port aux Basques, Jonathan Bil­lard is con­stantly un­der­go­ing train­ing.

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