Nova Scotia

Acadia University closes pool for financial and health reasons

Acadia University has decided to close its swimming pool in Wolfville, N.S., for financial and health reasons, forcing both its varsity team and a local swim club to find new locations to train.

Varsity and club swimmers find new training locations outside Wolfville

A member of the Acadia swim team during training in the 2019-20 season. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Acadia University has decided to close its swimming pool in Wolfville, N.S., for financial and health reasons, forcing both its varsity team and a local swim club to find new locations to train.

"The swimming pool at Acadia University has been operating at an annual deficit for the past several years," Chris Callbeck, the university's CFO, said in a letter posted to Acadia's website last week. "The global pandemic has impacted the university financially, and we simply cannot justify the expenditure at this time."

The letter went on to state the pool is also closing for health reasons: "The pool access and change room design make cross-over between community users and students inevitable."

The university currently is not allowing the general public to be on campus in order to limit contact with the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the Acadia swim team, the defending AUS champions, will now take their training to King's-Edgehill School in Windsor. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The pool closure means the Acadia swim team, the defending AUS champions, will have to start training in the pool at King's-Edgehill School in Windsor.

Swim coach Gary MacDonald said he's disappointed with the decision but declined an interview.

The swimmers may not even have a season at all. All AUS sports have been suspended for the fall season and a decision on winter sports, including swimming, won't be coming anytime soon.

"We will not have any answers on the winter semester for a few weeks," said AUS executive director Phil Currie.

Members of the Wolfville Tritons swim club will now have to train in Greenwood. (Submitted by Wolfville Tritons Swim Club)

The closure also means the Wolfville Tritons Swim Club has had to move to Greenwood, a 40-minute drive west of Acadia.

"In March 2020 we had 61 members which ranged from five-year-olds to masters swimmers who are in their 50s and 60s, and now that we're training in Greenwood we don't even have half of our membership active right now," said Wolfville Tritons swim coach Hayden Adams. "It's certainly not sustainable."

Adams said he's worried the club will not get some of its members to come back if they have to drive back and forth to Greenwood.

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