Hamilton swim club operators 'over the moon' as indoor pools reopen


Swim club operators in Hamilton are beaming with excitement following Monday's announcement that indoor swimming pools are among facilities that are now open.

Grey Fairley, director of aquatics at Golden Horseshoe Aquatic Club, said they can't wait to get back into the water.

"Personally, because it's my employment as well, I'm over the moon because I feel it's about time," Fairley told CBC News.

"We haven't been in the water since the beginning of April when all indoor activities were shut down by the government of Ontario.

"We haven't been in an outdoor body of water either, just due to the difficulty in being able to monitor the athletes in a safe and insurance-friendly way, so it's been challenging for sure."

The city announced the reopening of indoor pools on Monday with Paul Johnson, the director of Hamilton's emergency operations centre, saying "things are just getting more and more back to the level that people expect."

He said people can also get back into lane swimming, "which I know for many swimmers is a really important piece of our pools in this community."

'We find it a little unfair'

Fairley said pre-COVID-19, his club had 450 members, but that number dropped by 200 over the course of the pandemic.

He also expressed his disappointment at the lengthy closure.

"There has not been one case of COVID that has come from a swimming pool anywhere in North America … so from our perspective, we find it a little unfair, though understandable, why we haven't been able to participate in our activity," he said.