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Diving temporarily banned at several City of Calgary pools
Diving starts are still permitted at Repsol Sport Centre as the pool depth complies with Swiimming Canada's new regulations
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, September 12, 2018 5:45PM MDT
The City of Calgary has prohibited diving at 11 of its recreation centres until it’s determined that the pools comply with the new depth standards.
As of September 1, Swimming Canada requires a 1.35 metre pool depth below starting blocks and a 1.2 metre depth for dives from pool decks.
The new regulations are the result of an incident in Saskatchewan in 2005 that left a swimmer paralyzed. The 16-year-old girl was injured after diving from the starting blocks at the pool at the University of Regina.
The pools used for competitions at the University of Calgary and Repsol Sport Centre, which are not city-run, do comply with the new rules. Local swim coaches say there will be additional pressure on the facilities during the temporary ban and it’s the youngest competitive athletes who will be affected. Should some of the pools prove to be too shallow, there will be larger concerns.
“The ability for us to run swim meets, I don’t know how we’re going to do it,” said Mike Blondal, University of Dinos varsity swim team coach. “There’s too much pressure on Repsol and this pool already as the two major competitive pools in the city because the City hasn’t kept pace with the population in pool building.”
“We swim out of Foothills pool, Shouldice pool and Churchill pool. We anticipate that those pools will be an issue.”
Jasen Pratt, club manager for the Cascade Swim Club, says the ban on diving will affect roughly 150 members of the club.
“This is going to impact our novice competitive athletes,” explained Pratt. “Those that are just getting into the sport, those that will do their very first swim meet this year and get up on the blocks and dive off for the very first time.”
“Everyone wants those kids to have a safe and fun experience. No one wants to be put at risk and we certainly don’t want any accidents.”
Pratt is also of the belief that Calgary would benefit from additional, modern pools. “All of those pools were built in the 70’s and 80’s and the city has grown exponentially since then. We haven’t been able to keep up the facilities so we have nowhere to put these kids to host competitions for them.”
The Cascade Swim Club says it will find workarounds during the diving ban and could potentially remove the diving component from some of its races.
The City of Calgary confirms that the temporary ban on diving is currently in place at 11 pools but has not indicated which pools are affected or how long it is expected to take to determine which pools are compliant.
With files from CTV’s Alesia Fieldberg