Pool provides off-the-wall activity

Oak Bay Rec launches aquatic climbing wall with help of a donation from Rotary Club

Janet Barclay

Aquatic wall climber extraordinaire Samuel Kessner earned the honour of being first up the new equipment at Oak Bay Rec.

The aquatic climbing wall officially opened on Family Day when Kessner clambered to the top and tore the ceremonial ribbon off.

“That really made his day,” said Dr. Jim Force, who first attempted the feat. Force earned first crack at the wall as president of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay that funded the $13,000 needed to get the “wish list” item for Recreation Oak Bay.

“(Climbing) is an activity where you have to be thoughtful. It builds their confidence and physical strength and ability,” said Force, who holds a PhD in education.

“It’s really self directed and makes failure OK,” he adds, noting that a fall means a splash and a return to the back of the line to try again. The lineup when it opened Feb. 9 indicates early success.

“I saw this huge lineup full of anticipation to get into the pool. They couldn’t wait to get in there,” said Janet Barclay, manager of recreation services. “It was really neat to see it in action … the mental and physical effort.”

For her the packed pool represented a small victory in the ongoing battle with “screen time” in the recreation world. It’s a battle Force feels Recreation Oak Bay, and the pool in particular, fights well.

“They have a combination of structured programs and the unstructured play,” Force said. “Play is a really important part of (a child’s) development.”

The wall is designed to maintain a little mystery for the regular pool-user with a four-panel system that allows for alterations, changing up hand and foot holds. It’s just one of the considerations that went into the purchase.

“We are a smaller pool. It really fit well and doesn’t take up a lot of real estate,” Barclay said. “We have a range of ages and abilities and it’s challenging for everybody.”

For more information on swim times, call Recreation Oak Bay at 250-595-7946 or visit  recreationoakbay.ca





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Hundreds celebrate Year of the Rat in Victoria’s Chinatown

Lion dancers and kung fu demonstrations on display

Camosun student shares story of overcoming struggles to inspire others

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program helps former youths in care attend post-secondary institutions

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read