August 12, 2014 7:52 pm

Parents scramble to register for popular swim lessons

People swim at the Lawson Aquatic Centre.

File / Global News

REGINA – Many parents in the city were up before 7:00 a.m. Tuesday frantically trying to register their kids in swimming lessons as spots for the fall leisure program opened up for Regina residents.

By 7:10 a.m., 1,300 people had registered online and by mid-afternoon 5,500 people were signed up for programs.

“Our preschool classes are filling up and the children’s learn to swim lessons are filling up,” said Jeff May, sport and recreation manager for the City of Regina.

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This year seems to have been much smoother than last year when one of the servers crashed: “We spent several months preparing for today by working with the vendor that hosts the website,” said May.

Global News asked people on social media how their experience went and some raised concerns about the spots filling up before they could register: “No problems, but was wait listed,” said Andrea Dutchak on Facebook. “It was a mad rush to try getting open spots,” said Crystal Noble-Sylvestre.

“We try to strike a balance between offering classes for folks to learn to swim and to have fun in the pool as well as support competitive athletics. Right now I can tell you that time in the pool is fairly limited,” said May.

An external consultant was hired about six years ago to determine whether Regina could sustain another swimming pool. Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants (PERC) recommended the city build a city-wide leisure and competitive facility near the Lawson Aquatic Centre.

The company wouldn’t comment on a five-year-old report, but explained swimming in Canada is growing.

“Recreational swimming, fitness swimming, and rehab therapy swimming is increasing,” said PERC Owner Brian Johnston. “Every generation is more likely to swim than the generation before.”

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