There’s a new aquatic feature at the Frank Jameson Community Centre pool, and it has children — and staff — literally jumping for joy.
Thanks to the generous support of the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary, Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture recently purchased an aquatic trampoline.
The Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary has been helping improve the health, fitness and well-being of Ladysmith residents by supporting Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture in many ways over the years, including contributions to the therapy teach pool and the aquatic climbing wall, the provision of aquatic wheelchairs and the automatic external defibrillator with accessories, and a first aid training unit to ensure maximum staff competence.
Lil Kroll, president of the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary, says the auxiliary wanted to help the Frank Jameson Community Centre acquire the aquatic trampoline because it is related to health care.
“It will encourage kids to learn to swim and have fun in the pool,” she said. “We contribute to health care projects as well as to hospital equipment.”
Kroll says the funding the auxiliary provides for projects like the aquatic trampoline comes mainly from the Thrift Store on First Avenue.
“That’s our main source of funding, but we also have the gift shops,” she said.
Since the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary started in 1909, this all-volunteer organization has contributed $4 million to the community.
“We rely on donations from the public. Everything we sell in the shops is donated,” said Kroll.
Lois Walkling, the aquatic supervisor at Ladysmith Parks, Recreation and Culture, is excited to add the aquatic trampoline to the list of fun activities and toys at the pool.
“What we’ve heard from other facilities is it’s brought pre-teens and young teens back into the pool,” she said. “That’s what they’re really excited about.”
Walkling feels the new aquatic trampoline is one more tool to help encourage children to be active.
“It’s really become critical for recreation facilities to do everything in our power to provide healthy choices in our community with the growing concern of such things as obesity and diabetes in schoolchildren,” she said.
Walkling pointed out that not everyone can afford to participate in competitive sports, and not all children are interested in the competitive aspects of sports, and they need exercise to be fun.
“If there isn’t something fun, we might lose those kids,” she said.
No other recreation centre on Vancouver Island has an aquatic trampoline, according to Walkling.
“It’s been a success,” she said. “It’s really fun; staff are even taking turns on it. For those children — and it’s a lot — who aren’t interested in the competitive aspects of sports or their family can’t afford sports, exercise needs to be camouflaged as fun. We need to promote just making exercise fun, drawing children to our facility because of the fun, social atmosphere.”
For now, the trampoline will go into the water Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.
It will be available for rentals, although the people who rent the trampoline will have to pay for up to four lifeguards, depending on the number of swimmers.