Voices of Jubilee swimmers

September 07 2020
Voices of Jubilee swimmers

No space for clubs as it is:
Amelie Williams, 13, and mum Bryony, Knowle
"I am an England youth squad artistic swimmer(synchronised swimming) and we live near the pool. I use the pool, and also the gym for training. The message we hear is that everyone needs to be active so closing the pool will not allow people to exercise as much. Jubilee is a busy pool and if it closes there will just not be enough space in South Bristol for all the lessons and clubs. My friends from school go there and other schools use it as well. Hengrove is fine for competitive swimming but it is very cold and casual swimmers don't want to have to warm up.
Bryony added: "It is a real struggle to find pool space so if they close, where will clubs go?”
 
Three generations:
Jackie Mundy, 70, Knowle
"I started learning to swim at Jubilee when I was a little girl aged 7. It was a choice of swimming or piano lessons. I chose swimming and went there until I could swim and then I used to go swimming with the school. I did my life saving skills in pyjamas and picking a brick from the bottom. I hated the life skills because it was hard to take your pyjamas off once soaking wet in the water. Little was I to know that these skills would come in useful in Australia. During my time there, my husband was swimming up and down a campsite swimming pool(as had recently learned to swim). He started waving at me and then I realised he wasn't waving, he was signalling for help. So, I swam over to him, turned him over into the lifesaving position and dragged him to the side. He had got into difficulties out of the blue I believe as a result of being new to swimming. Instead of flowers I got told off for not rescuing him sooner! 
If the pool were to close, I would not be able to do my weekly aqua aerobics as I could not walk to another pool. This would reduce my exercise levels and I would miss the exercise and companionship it brings. Jubilee has always been part of the fabric of Knowle.
 
Tanya Williams, aged 41, I live in Knowle and mum of four - Seb (7), Fabian (5), Evie (3), and Flynn (1).
"I learned to swim at Jubilee like my mother before me and when I had got a bit older used to spend my summer holidays with my brother and friends in the pool. Always finished off with a naughty wham bar or toffee chew! 
Most importantly we were out of my parents' hair for a few hours during the long summer holidays. When I got older  Ididn't use the pool for a number of years and so was pleased when I could return to the pool to take my first born (now aged 7!) for baby swim. It was a great bonding experience and because the pool was warmer meant I didn't feel compelled to go to other swimming sessions marketed at babies at twice the price.  
This was a highlight of my week as meant I could talk to other mums about their babies and learn some hints and tips as the various child developmental stages. As my family grew, our reliance on Jubilee did. It was a short walk away so did not need to rely on the car, which we also did not have when our family were young. Once my kids got old enough, they too began their swimming lessons which is a life skill, not luxury, meaning that our holidays and trips near water always felt a bit safer. While I appreciate that Hengrove is an alternative, the reality is very different. It is not within walking distance of Knowle, bus journeys are 40 mins long and parking there is expensive and not always guaranteed. We tried Hengrove pool as an alternative to Jubilee. However we were severely disappointed and vowed never to go back. On a practical level felt it much colder. This really makes a difference to how long you can stay in a pool with kids. 
 
Thoughts of Evie Williams, aged 3
Not going swimming makes her sad. After lockdown she would like to be a real  mermaid so she really needs her swimming lessons to return!