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Hatboro Y Seeks Practice Site for Swim Team

A month after the Hatboro Area YMCA announced that its outdoor pool would close this winter, efforts are still being made to relocate the Hatboro Hurricanes' swim practices.

The swim season is just a few months away, but where the Hatboro Area YMCA's team, the Hatboro Hurricanes, will practice for summertime meets is still up in the air.

Since last month's announcement that the Y would close its outdoor pool, YMCA officials have been meeting with area pools to see if any can accommodate practices for the roughly 100 swimmers in the YMCA's swim team. 

To date, none of the pools have been able to accommodate the Y's practice schedule, according to YMCA Spokeswoman Omoiye Kinney.

"We are still pursuing just different venues that we could possibly work with," Kinney told Patch. "We are looking at several other locations in the Hatboro area and the surrounding communities that we may be able to potentially partner with."

Something would be in place in the coming weeks, prior to swim team registration at the end of March, she said. 

Use of the Hatboro Y's indoor swimming pool is also a possibility, Kinney said, adding that it is "definitely under consideration."

Borough officials and representatives from the Hatboro Memorial Pool had discussed the possibility of the Y holding its team's practice sessions at the West Moreland Avenue pool. 

But, Mary Wheeler, president of the Hatboro Memorial Pool Parents Association, said that because of scheduling conflicts with the pool's home team, the Hatboro Storm, practice times were not available for the Hatboro Hurricanes. 

"We looked at times and availability and we really couldn’t come up with anything that would work," Wheeler said. "There wasn’t enough time in the morning to accommodate both teams."

The season gets underway in mid-June for the Storm's 130 to 140 swimmers, Wheeler said. The team practices from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. five days a week, she said. Following practice, the pool offers swim lessons until noon when the pool opens to the public, Wheeler said. 

"The Hatboro pool can’t support two teams as far as practice times go, but they can support two teams as far as home meets go," Wheeler said, adding that the Hatboro Hurricanes will continue to hold its home meets at the Hatboro Memorial Pool. "I do hope that they can figure something out and find some place for their team to practice."

And, while the borough had discussed - and ultimately rejected - the possibility of the Hatboro Y managing the Hatboro Memorial Pool, Wheeler said there has "never been any dialogue about merging the teams." 

"They swim in a completely different league than us ... at a completely different level than us," Wheeler said.

Hatboro Y officials also reached out to Hideaway Swim Club in Horsham to see about holding practices there, but Hideaway President, Beth Allen, said the local swim teams, including the club's swim and diving team, all seem to get underway after school starts.

"The issue seems to be timing," Allen said.

Susan Scholer March 01, 2013 at 01:54 PM
I am a parent of 3 children on the Hatboro Swim Team. I love the coaching staff! They are so supportive of the kids and create a competitve but positive environment for all levels of swimmers. We have been on this team for 2 years now and I have seen such growth in my children as swimmers and people. However, I am disappointed in the Hatboro Y organization and their lack of consideration for its award winning team. The news of the pool closing had been rumored about through other teams before it made its way to the parents of the chldren that pay a great deal of money to use that pool. Many of the swim team parents have their children attend early morning practice and then have the kids ushered over to Hatboro Y summer camp where they also pay a great deal of money. I wonder how much consideration was given to these parents. We also have not been kept abreast of what plans will be made for this team until deals are done. My understanding is that now we are being brushed off to Abington High School for practice. We have facilities at Hatboro Y. I do not understand why we are not being permitted to use said facilities where I pay my money to. I am being asked to drive further, not have the use of exercise equipment during practice (as many parents take advantage of) and the rates were raised for the season as well. I don't feel the team parents have been treated fairly and I am angry and disappointed.
Beth Allen March 01, 2013 at 05:10 PM
While we at Hideaway recognize the logistical challenges facing the Hatboro Y, we are unable to offer any pool accessibility. There are simply not enough operational hours in our day to accomodate another team's needs. We wish them well. Beth Allen, President Hideaway Swim Club
Cora Rowe March 03, 2013 at 06:00 PM
It seems so funny for the Y to be seeking a pool for the swim team members. Isn't that what many of us think of when we talk about the Y. Closing the outdoor pool, ridiculous!!

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