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Squamish's adult swim club more popular than ever

Co-ordinator of Squamish Titans says a long waitlist has been created, as there's not enough space in the pool.

A local swim club for adults in Squamish is reporting there's no shortage of members, but there is a shortage of swimming space.

Emily Dewsbury, swim co-ordinator for the Squamish Titans, said that despite setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for registrations has picked up.

In total, there are currently 50 active members and a waitlist of about 40, she said.

"COVID really hit us pretty good, but we've been in the pool again since October at Brennan Park. Last year, we got in and out of the pool, so we didn't have a full proper season. Currently, at the moment, we are finding that we're not doing competitions, we're not doing swim meets," said Dewsbury.

She said the orders from the provincial health officer made it hard to organize anything. The Titans haven't been to any swim meets, and they haven't seen many events being hosted in general.

However, the lack of formal competition hasn't stopped people from showing interest in the sport.

The club has four swim sessions a week — two mornings and two evenings.

Typically, each practice starts with a warm-up and progresses to drills. At the start of the season, coaches — the club has two — focus on long, steady laps in the pool.

Dewsbury said the focus shifts to speed as the season progresses and everyone's fitness improves.

Athletes practise sprints and speed runs in the water.

"The good thing is that we have a lot of swimmers. We're at capacity for lane limits right now, and we have a huge waiting list. So we have a lot of interest in people wanting to swim but not enough space in the pool," said Dewsbury.

"The demand we have seen over the last few years skyrocketed, I think...with more population coming in."

Even during COVID, the club hasn't been able to accommodate all the people who've been wanting to get in the pool.

Brennan Park has only one pool, Dewsbury said, and it appears as if the community's size has outgrown its capacity.

In response to these concerns, the District said its staff work with all user groups to create "a fair and equitable pool schedule that balances the needs of community lessons, swim clubs and public lane swims."

"A second pool is one of the desired new facilities at Brennan Park Recreation Centre and is being considered within the District's work to address facilities replacements and upgrades laid out in the Real Estate and Facilities Master Plan," wrote municipal spokesperson Rachel Boguski.

"The first three priority projects are the replacement of both fire halls and the public works yard, which are well underway, and the planning has been completed on the Brennan Park Master Plan as well as the surrounding lands, with funding strategies under discussion."