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Loyalist Township partners with Boys and Girls Club, YMCA to offer new aquatics programming

Those in Loyalist Township will once again be able to participate in municipally-offered aquatics program, according to an announcement from the Township.

In order to continue offering aquatic programming to Loyalist Township residents this summer, the Township has created two new community partnerships.

Loyalist Township will now be offering aquatics programming through the Boys and Girls Club South East and the YMCA of Eastern Ontario. Photo by Mariano Nocetti.

Loyalist Township announced the move in a press release on Tuesday, Jun. 14, 2022, which comes as a result of the Township being unable to offer aquatics programs since early March due to “significant infrastructure concerns.” At a Special Meeting of Loyalist Township Council, held Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2022, Council directed Township staff to close the pool at the WJ Henderson Recreation Centre until further notice, and work with regional partners to source interim options for aquatic programming for Township residents. Township staff is also to report back to Council with updated retrofit costs and financial options for the WJ Henderson Recreation Centre pool. In the report received by Council at that meeting, Township staff had outlined the costs of a new pool build to be approximately $25 million, with retrofit/upgrade costs estimated at $24.3 million (based on 2021 costs).

Now, the Township is “expanding its current partnership” with the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) South East, and “creating a new partnership” with YMCA of Eastern Ontario. The Township expressed that its recreation vision, which is “All residents of Loyalist Township participate in healthy, personally engaging, and community-building recreation,” “aligns perfectly with both BGC South East and the YMCA of Eastern Ontario’s organizational missions and values.”

“I want to thank BGC South East and the YMCA of Eastern Ontario for their commitment to serving the community and for their efforts to form these partnerships with Loyalist Township. Loyalist Council and staff remain committed to meeting the aquatics needs of our community and region, partners such as BGC and the YMCA make this possible,” said Loyalist Township Deputy Mayor Jim Hegadorn.

“Through the support of BGC South East and the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, we’re able to provide our residents with opportunities to participate in swim programs this summer.”

According to the Township, aquatics programming will begin on Monday, Jul. 4, 2022, and will be offered at both the YMCA of Eastern Ontario location on Wright Crescent in Kingston, and at the BGC South East’s West End Hub, also located in Kingston.

“We welcome Loyalist Township to bring even more diversity to our West End Community Centre and enhance relevance to the 75 hours a week of aquatics programs operating,” said Harold Parsons, Executive Director at BGC South East, in a statement.

“As the closest Aquatics Centre from the W. J. Henderson Recreation Centre, we are pleased to expand our partnership to serve and support community needs where they reside, and provide services our community needs.”

“As a service-oriented charity, the Y has continually looked to see where we may support people in our communities. We believe that working together makes us all stronger and are open to exploring partnership opportunities,” said Rob Adams, CEO of YMCA of Eastern Ontario.

“We are delighted to be able to offer our aquatics programs to our neighbours in Loyalist Township We have added advanced aquatics and swim lessons over the summer to accommodate increased need and hope that everyone who comes to the Y will feel at home.”

The Township relayed that Loyalist residents can begin to register for aquatics programs on Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2022, at 12 p.m., and non-Township-residents can register for aquatics programs beginning on Friday, Jun. 24, 2022, at 12:00pm. To register or for details about the aquatics programs available through Loyalist Township and its community partners, go to www.loyalist.ca/recreation, call 613-386-7351, or visit the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre, located at 322 Amherst Dr. in Amherstview, any time Monday through Friday 8:30 from a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays).

For more information on the BGC South East, visit their website at www.bgcsoutheast.ca. For more information on the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, visit their website at www.eo.ymca.ca.

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