Help take the load off

Editor:

I am president of the Alameda Island Aquatics (Islanders) age group swim team and I support the proposed new Harbor Bay Club (HBC) at North Loop Road. I’ve got more than 100 swimmers to keep in the water, and the HBC has a long history of helping us and other groups, such as Masters swimmers, keep swimming without requiring membership to the club.

The new club, with its additional pools that more than double the amount of current lanes, will increase its support of groups like the Islanders, and this support redounds to the benefit of all Alameda aquatics enthusiasts by reducing the competition for lanes at the Alameda High School and Encinal High School pools.

Securing swim lanes in Alameda is difficult. Despite the deeply appreciated, sustained and heroic efforts of the city of Alameda and the Alameda Unified School District, our high school pools are aging and not large enough to accommodate the entire Alameda aquatics community.

Encinal High School pool is currently closed for at least six months for rebuilding and the Alameda High School pool is not even deep enough to allow starting blocks at swim meets. Kids dive off of towels! We need HBC’s new lanes to take the load off of Alameda’s exhausted aquatics infrastructure.

Recently, the HBC stopped by the 61st Annual City of Alameda Swimming Championships held at Alameda High School’s fading yet beloved Emma Hood Swim Center to talk about their proposed new pools. The contrast between the HBC’s new pool plans and kids diving off of moldy lost and found towels instead of starting blocks was very compelling. Ninety-nine percent of the swim community at that meet was ecstatic about the prospect of the HBC’s new pools because this community understands the importance of adding brand new aquatics resources to our faltering infrastructure.

Eric Delore