Pool drained of water due to lack of lifeguards

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Sunday 8th May 2022 7:30 am
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Harlech pool has been drained and will not be refilled and open to use until more qualified ones can be recruited

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A MEIRIONNYDD swimming pool has been drained and cannot be used until more lifeguards can be found.

Harlech and Ardudwy Leisure (HAL) does not have enough qualified lifeguards to open the pool to the public, so it has been drained until more can be found.

On social media, Harlech and Ardudwy Leisure said: “We are actively working on a solution for reopening the pool including recruiting a team of qualified lifeguards.

“If you are interested in being part of the solution then you might be interested in doing the course in Tywyn.

“Achieving the qualification will get you one step closer to being poolside at our iconic pool location working for our fantastic local community.”

Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS, Mabon ap Gwynfor, visited the leisure centre and made a video for social media, highlighting the plight of the lifeguardless leisure centre.

He said: “The leisure centre was taken over about 10 years ago by the local community to ensure this place continues to provide services in the area.

“It has a fantastic swimming pool and climbing wall, and the food in the cafe is delicious.

“They are always on the lookout for local volunteers. If you have skills in HR, marketing or accounting, get in touch. They are also on the lookout for lifeguards. This sector generally has recruitment issues.”

Harlech resident Rosy Berry is missing being able to use the pool.

She told the Cambrian News: “My local pool is currently closed due to lack of lifeguards.

“The centre recently tried to put on a training course but not enough suitable applicants were found.

“The very sad sight of a drained pool also means turning away locals and holiday visitors.”

Rosy added: “There should be at least two lifeguards on duty at any time when the pool is open.

“HAL had hoped to run a course, but only two people qualified, not enough to justify running a course sadly.

“Therefore, the pool has been drained as it’s too expensive to keep water in if the pool isn’t being used.

“So no school swimming, no exercise classes, no aqua fit, no OAP swimming and no swimming for tourists.

“The board is desperately trying to resolve the situation.”

Meanwhile, the café and the climbing wall remain open. The café hosts poetry evenings and BINGO, and on 4 June there will be an afternoon tea party. Sunday lunches are served on alternate Sundays. There are also games sessions in the café on Thursdays.

A meeting was held on Tuesday, 26 April to discuss the matter, and on Thursday, 28, the leisure centre posted an invitation to anyone interested in becoming a lifeguard to consider enrolling on a course taking place in Tywyn.

HAL serves the community along the whole of the Ardudwy coast from Barmouth to Talsarnau and beyond and when Gwynedd Council announced its plan to close the pool 12 years ago, the community of Ardudwy took over its running.

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