30 November 2014

1/3 of 1/3 = not worth the £

I've taken my 4 year old swimming twice.  His big sister went all the time, but that was when Waterworld was open. 

We've been to Dalry Swim centre twice now, for what is advertised as a  'fun' session.  On Sundays 1/3 of the pool is roped off into lanes, and the third of the pool next to that is occupied by people swimming laps.

So that leaves 1/3 of the pool.  Only, if you're with a pre-schooler who can't swim on his own, you have to stay in the shallow end.  Which means that the available space for us, and all the other families, is 1/3 of 1/3 of the pool.   

It's not the pool staff's fault that the swimmers don't use the lanes set aside for them.  They got out some floaty toys for us, which was nice.  The 4 year old had a blast. 

But what is telling is how few other families turn up, and what they're like.  I'm a poor swimmer, and I take my kids along in the hopes that they'll move on to lessons and be better swimmers than I am.  But the other families there tend to be keen swimmers - kids with lots of kit. Serious stuff. Not average local families splashing around.  In Waterworld you used to see lots of young dads with tattoos, Asian families, grandparents - a real mix of people from all walks of life.  

Doubtless the swimming lessons are attractive to a wider range of local residents, but that's not the same as splashing around and having fun.  And no exercise at all for the Mums and Dads and Grandparents. 

I can't compare this to other pools - maybe they are different - but the word on the street is that parents who can are taking their kids to Perth or Dunbar for water play.   

None of this augurs well for the future of Edinburgh Leisure's local facilities, or the health of local communities, who are being let down.

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