The swimming pool at the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre in Amherstview is getting ready to reopen. But staffing it could cause problems.
While the centre itself slowly returns to some kind of normalcy, it’s the pool and those using it that could take a hit. Andras Switzer is the acquatics coordinator with Loyalist Township.
“In a typical year, when we’re operating under normal operations we have anywhere from 30-40 lifeguards,” Switzer said.
“We have seven-10 aquafit instructors.”
Switzer says right now the pool has just four staff members — barely enough to operate a few certification sessions — and it’s because of the pandemic and the shutdowns that they haven’t been able to train new staff.
“What’s happened is some of our staff have lost their certification over the time we’ve been closed and or youth are moving on and don’t wanna come back to the position,” says manager of recreation and facilities Kari Lambe.
The staff shortage seems to be part of a ripple effect across the province, according to Switzer, as pools all around Ontario are struggling to get up to their usual staffing level.
Rachel Scott has worked at the recreation centre for five years and is one of the few who came back to work at the pool.
“I’ve seen us working at full capacity, I’ve seen us working at COVID capacity and it’s a huge difference, not only just staff-wise but patron-wise,” Scott said.
According to the township’s website, the staffing shortage will also cause a delay for aquafit as well as children’s swim lessons.