Pool serves more than just athletes

In response to Don Austin’s letter of Oct. 12:

Yes, Mr. Austin, you are right. The swim club and water polo team could rent space at another pool. Our swim team could all leave Sweet Home and swim for the Lebanon swim club. I’m sure that Lebanon would welcome not only our swim team but also our swim club, given that some of our swim members are ranked nationally. It would be a great asset to their team.

But what about the other people who use the pool? Should an injured member of the football, basketball, track, volleyball, soccer, baseball, or cross-country teams all rent space at another pool to help them recover more quickly or, like you said, should education be about the “three R’s” – drop the sports?

Hmmm. What about the senior citizen rehabilitation programs? I’m sure it would be no problem for them to find a way to get to the Lebanon pool for rehabilitation. Wouldn’t that make everybody happy.

Then there are all those children in the lower grades who used the pool for instruction on how to swim. I wonder how much it would cost the district to bus them to Lebanon and back each day? We would have to drop that program if the pool were closed.

I guess the parents, if they were really interested, could find the time and money to take their child to Lebanon for lifesaving lessons. They would have to hire a teacher and a lifeguard, but oh, well, so what.

I know a lot about the swim program but even I don’t know how many others use the pool for lap swimming, exercise programs, lifeguarding programs, free swim, etc. The list is quite impressive because the pool is not just for swim and water polo teams; it is for the community.

Yes, Mr. Austin, reading, writing and arithmetic should be our top priority, but after talking to many students over the years, I have heard many say they would have dropped out of school had it not been for sports. Pretty hard to teach them if they are not there, but then I guess we could take all of our students interested in sports to Lebanon so they could participate. Maybe those parents could just move to Lebanon, why not? That would sure give the city a lot more money in their budget.

I’m sure Mr. Austin knows that you can’t just drain a pool, to be opened at a later date; that it has to be cemented over.

Jeani West

Sweet Home