Prospective Pool Already Making A Splash

The YMCA in Chatham. (Photo by Jake Kislinsky)

A possible YMCA pool and fitness centre at the Walpole Island Arena is already getting good reviews.

Random telephone surveys are being done over the next few weeks to find out what the community wants and needs when it comes to recreation and fitness.

Walpole Island First Nations Planning Coordinator Aimee Johnson says she thinks the YMCA programs will go over great in the community and surrounding area.

“The community has a strong desire to have an expansion at our community centre to encompass all those types of things.  We’re both going for the same thing.  Building healthy communities is what the YMCA is after and that’s we’re after too,” says Johnson.

Johnson would like the proposed fitness centre built next to the arena and believes it will be well used by people off the reserve because the arena already gets good use from those outside Walpole Island.

YMCA Regional VP of Operations Liz Fletcher says the prospective building would be owned by the First Nations community and the programs would be run by the YMCA.

Johnson believes the fitness centre and pool will go over very well, but the question is, will it be sustainable?

“We need to make sure that whatever we’re looking at building together is something that we can sustainably run.  The YMCA has a great track record of doing what they do and doing it well and that’s why we figured this is a perfect partnership here,” Johnson says.

Johnson feels the pool will make a big splash in the community, if it becomes a reality.

“In terms of the engagement that we’ve done with our community around our community planning process, a pool and splash pad and things of that nature have been one of the top requests for recreational stuff,” says Johnson.