Tuesday, 20 November 2012

There has been word that

a local swimming pool is to close. It is not just any swimming pool but the swimming pool attached to "Balyana" - the centre which employs a wide range of people with disabilities, people who have not been able to get positions in open employment.
The pool is also used by the local hospitals and local physiotherapists for "hydrotherapy". The Senior Cat was sent there after he had his knees and a shoulder replaced. A former neighbour who lost a leg in a road accident used it as a means of getting exercise. A young mother I know has been using it because she has an inherited condition for which non-weight bearing exercise helps.
So, it is not your average pool with your average clientele - if such a thing exists. This pool has special access facilities, even a hoist for the most seriously disabled to use it. The staff in attendance are specially trained.
And yes, it is expensive to run.
It also needs upgrading. The authorities have been told it would take $600,000 to upgrade it to the standards required today. Balyana, like everywhere else, is struggling. It does not have that sort of money. Even if it did the ongoing costs of keeping it open would be a struggle.
There is a "gym" complex adjacent to our shopping centre. It has a swimming pool. People have been told they may have to use that - if they can get up the steps into the building, fit in with the times, pay the fee for all the facilities even if they cannot use them. They will not do it.
There is a newish complex in the next suburb but, during the day, it is rightly used for teaching school children. The same is true of the new state swimming centre about six kilometres away.  And yes, we do need all children to have basic water skills.
So the swimming pool at Balyana serves a different purpose. It keeps some people active. It provides some people with a safe environment in which to exercise. If it saves just one person from going into a nursing home or just one person needing life long assistance then it will have paid to keep it open.
I doubt the government will see it that way. They will look at the short term saving. They will say, "it's not our responsibility".
It should be their responsibility.


Anonymous said...

It should be their responsibility. It is an extension of health, and the therapy is widely needed.

the fly in the web said...

Certainly it is their responsibility....it's not only the able bodied who pay taxes...

Anonymous said...

Agree! Bob C-S