Often, community members who do not utilize city pools have the misconception that pools only benefit a particular percentage of the population.
Pools benefit a community in many ways. It is well known that they provide recreational opportunities. As a result of those opportunities, however, crime rates are lower than they would be without pools.
One city leader recently backed up my point, citing that youngsters without activities when not in school have very little to do. This leads to mischief and, sometimes, criminal activity.
When youth become bored in a community, the mischief can even escalate to eventual criminal activity.
I don't want Johnny or Janie spray painting my neighborhood, tormenting my animals or setting off bottle rockets in my neighborhood. I want them participating in a constructive activity.
That is what takes place at our pools. The youth, who are the primary users of our pools, have fun and get more exercise in the pool than if they were stay home with nothing to do.
Swimming pools provide healthy exercise for everyone, if only more community members would utilize them for that very purpose.
Swimming is a low-impact, high resistance activity beneficial to people of all ages.
An example of the health benefits can be witnessed during swim meets held at pools throughout the Lower Valley during the summer months. Many youngsters on the swim teams lose weight and build muscle throughout the season, and it is often visibly noticeable.
I really wish more youth would participate on the swim teams. As it is, there are still more than 100 swim team members in Sunnyside, more than 80 members in Grandview and nearly the same number in Prosser.
And, the parents are there, enjoying each meet...watching their children accomplish growth and social skills, achieving greater self-confidence and learning sportsmanship.
Also, adults can enjoy time with the family during open swim hours. Spending time in the pool with the family is highly beneficial, providing a safe family activity.
It's also affordable!
Another obvious benefit pools provide is that of swimming lessons. I believe everyone should know how to swim. There are many ways in which people come in contact with bodies of water and if they are unable to swim...the result can be fatal.
For those who do realize the great benefits of the pools, it is my wish that you make your voice known. Let city leaders know how you feel. With our communities facing budget crises, the leaders need to know keeping our pools is worth every dollar spent on them.