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Rant: no chilling in the pool

Robby Nimmo

 

Hong Kong's water temperature in October hovers around an average of 27 degrees Celsius. Apparently this drop to near hypothermia-inducing conditions means that it is time to pull the plug at swimming pools all over the city.

It does not matter that it is still warm enough for pools of sweat to form on your back: the powers that be have spoken, so you had better hurry if you want to enjoy your last laps and lengths of the season. What is it that makes those in charge of Hong Kong's pools close them when the city is enjoying the best weather of the year?

How can our lifeguards make a living when the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) only opens its pools from April to October? Are they expected to migrate like birds during winter?

Apart from keeping the lifeguards gainfully employed, having a longer swimming season would help Hong Kong nurture more competitive swimmers, and an overall fitter population.

And if temperature is the main culprit, why are so few of Hong Kong's 41 LCSD pools heated? If that is out of the question, could they be converted into winter skateboard parks or parkour playgrounds? As they are, empty, dormant swimming pools look like some sort of inverted ziggurat belonging to the lost civilisation of water worshippers.

But time marches on and, before we know it, the LCSD will again be busy with their keys, on the official opening day for Hong Kong pools: April Fool's Day - which is quite appropriate, if you think about it.

 

 

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