Pool Society needs volunteers

Rossland’s swimming pool, the oldest society-operated pool in B.C., may be in danger of “drifting away,” said Aaron Cosbey, the pool board’s co-president.

  • May. 11, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Rossland’s swimming pool, the oldest society-operated pool in B.C., may be in danger of “drifting away,” said Aaron Cosbey, the pool board’s co-president.

The pool has been run as a volunteer community institution for nearly 80 years, but the current Pool Society board is “having trouble finding members to replace those that drift away,” Cosbey said.

Cosbey thought many Rosslanders may not realize the pool is a community resource. “While the City of Rossland gives the pool a large operating grant every year,” he said, “and city staff help out regularly, the pool is actually run by a small board of directors and a professional manager that the city houses by common agreement.”

“People are busy,” he continued. “Most of the volunteers in this town are doing two or three major things, and then many have families and jobs. You can see why our numbers have fallen.”

While volunteers on the board have decreased, and are now poised to fall below the three-member legal limit for B.C. societies, memberships and use have gone up, year after year.

“This pool is a community gem,” says Cosbey.  “My kids learned to swim here. [It] was built during the depression, by the community for the community. It’s a great resource for kids, families and lap swimmers in the summer.”

But he is worried for the pool’s future and hopes new members will rejuvenate the board and keep it running as a volunteer effort.

“There’s a lot of good energy that comes from a community board,” he said. “It would be a shame to lose all that great history, and all the great ideas that a board brings.”

If the society were forced to dissolve, Cosbey speculated the pool might be offered to the city to own and operate, “though that discussion has not yet taken place and it is not clear that the city would welcome such a move,” Cosbey said.

For more information contact Cosbey at 362-3375 or 368-1568, or email him at acosbey@telus.net.