The Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre is one of many recreation facilities currently closed due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus. (Ema Peter Photography/Canadian Wood Council photo)

South Surrey pools remain closed as city continues gradual reopening of indoor facilities

Semiahmoo Peninsula aquatic groups to train at Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre in Fleetwood

The City of Surrey’s announcement last week that the Surrey Sports and Leisure Centre is set to reopen has done little to help South Surrey aquatic groups, which remain in a scramble to find pool space and are still in the dark with regard to when the two Semiahmoo Peninsula indoor pools will open.

While the Sports and Leisure Centre, which is located in Fleetwood, will reopen Oct. 13, the city’s website still lists the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre and South Surrey Indoor Pool as being closed.

A spokesperson from the city told Peace Arch News Monday that there was no update as to when they will be open, adding that “as announcements are made to the public about planned opening dates, including the pools, this will be immediately updated online.”

In the meantime, South Surrey-based clubs like the Pacific Sea Wolves Swim Club and the White Rock Divers will train at the Sports and Leisure Centre, while the divers have also booked training sessions at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre.

Both clubs had been training outdoors at the Bear Creek pool, but that facility is set to close for the season Oct. 9.

• READ ALSO: Pacific Sea Wolves choose former swimmer to lead club

• READ ALSO: North Surrey rink to reopen first as part of city’s phased schedule for facilities

At Bear Creek, the Sea Wolves, operating at 50 per cent capacity, had been training for 320 lane hours per week, head coach Jy Stewart said. In Fleetwood, they have been allotted 190 hours, and training sessions are now primarily at 5:15 a.m. on weekdays, with a few 4 p.m. sessions as well.

Four swimmers can swim in each lane under COVID-19 protocols, as opposed to the usual eight swimmers.

“I haven’t experienced any frustration from parents because they understand it’s out of my control, but there’s definitely some concerns because the majority of parents can’t travel to (the Sports and Leisure Centre) at that time in the morning,” Stewart said.

Stewart worries that the lack of open facilities will affect her club’s youngest members.

“Our younger swimmers aren’t able to make that time. Usually these younger swimmers also have other siblings, and parents can’t leave them at home while they drive their kid to the pool at 5:15 in the morning,” she said, adding that 4 p.m. sessions aren’t easy for working parents to get to, either.

“There are a lot of people who are just waiting for our local pools to open, and there are kids who haven’t touched the water since February.

“For our (more advanced) swimmers, the ones who are provincially qualified, their (families) have bought in and are making it work, so it’s not this year that I’m worried about the club, it’s two, three years from now when our eight-year-old swimmers are 11 or 12 and they’ve missed an entire year of development. Who knows if they’re even going to continue – maybe they’ll find a new sport that’s available and more accommodating right now.”

Like the Sea Wolves, the White Rock Divers have been training recently at Bear Creek, although the diving facilities are not quite what they’re used to. Members are diving from a standing position – as opposed to gaining momentum on a traditional board – which keeps them sharp, but is not ideal, club founder Bev Boys said.

“There’s not much we can do, so at least it’s something,” she said.

Boys echoed Stewart’s hope that the successful opening of the Sport and Leisure Centre would lead to other openings soon.

“We keep bugging them… and the way it was explained to us, they said it wouldn’t be long,” Boys said.

In a news release announcing the opening of the Surrey Sport and Leisure Centre, Coun. Laurie Guerra – who is also the chair of the parks and recreation committee – said “barring any public health concerns, the remaining indoor pools are anticipated to reopen after the safe and successful launch of the Surrey Sport and Leisure Complex pool.”

“We’re taking the same cautious approach to opening the indoor pools as with all our recreation facilities; open gradually and carefully.”

Stewart said she’s “not optimistic for anything before January.”



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of SurreyCoronavirusSwimming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police investigating multiple stabbing at a Newton townhouse on Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Man charged with murder, aggravated assault in Newton townhouse stabbings

Harpreet Singh is to appear in Surrey provincial court on Oct. 29

Do you have someone you would like to thank? Or maybe something to get off your chest? Email your rose or rotten tomato to edit@surreynowleader.com.
Roses and Rotten Tomatoes (Oct. 22, 2020)

Our weekly collection of compliments and complaints sent in by readers

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
Surrey Eagles in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for BCHL season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
In Surrey and White Rock, 64,000 people vote ahead of election day

Meantime, Elections BC has issued 68,396 mail-in ballots within the nine ridings

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s Senator Reid reporting first COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

The Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen have agreed to a two-year deal with an average annual salary of $2.55 million. (@Canucks Twitter photo)
Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks agree to two-year deal

Two sides avoid arbitration, Virtanen will receive average annual salary of $2.55 million

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Swimco announced recently it is shutting all of its stores in Canada, including in Langley. (Swimco website)
Canadian-owned swimsuit chain bankrupt

Swimco had been in creditor protection for several months

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Most Read