Residents who live at George Pearson Center are lucky for one specific reason: they live very close to the Stan Stronge pool. And there is only one of its kind in the province of BC.
It could be argued that this pool has saved people’s lives, or at the very least there is no doubt that it has enhanced so very many lives. It is incredibly rare: there should be more of them!
The therapeutic benefits, and even the necessity for some healing, makes it an irreplaceable part of therapy for many people. According to pool advocates, some people come all the way from the Okanagan once a month or as often as possible to use this pool. Many Pearson residents use the pool as often as possible, usually limited by available staff time.
As the Pearson land is now in redevelopment planning, the planners say there will be a new therapeutic pool on this site. They are consulting with pool users as to what the new pool should include. Hopefully it will be a new and improved version of what we currently have.
Some essential qualities of a therapeutic pool include warmer than normal temperature pool water, quiet serene environment, accessible ramp and hoist, accessible changing rooms, regular staff that built trust of swimmers.
About the pool’s name: Stan Stronge was a soccer player until he became paraplegic from a car accident at age 30. He turned to wheelchair sports and formed the first wheelchair basketball team. He later coached and managed many athletes with disabilities. He seemed to understand perfectly well how appropriate physical activity can be so very therapeutic for the body and mind.