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Sudbury, Ont., university looks to reopen its Olympic-sized pool

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Sudbury’s Laurentian University announced Tuesday it would take the next steps in the hopes of reopening its pool.

The university said there has been a high level of interest in terms of reopening the Jeno Tihanyi Olympic Gold pool and said it will begin testing in February.

“With the university finally exiting the CCAA process, we are now able to further investigate the nature of repairs required to return the pool to an operational state,” LU said in a statement.

The Sudbury Laurentian Swim Club said that’s welcome news. Head coach Dean Henze said since Laurentian has changed leadership, there’s been a change for the better.

“There’s a real commitment to doing the best they can to get the pool going,” Henze said.

“Within two months of CCAA ending and here we are, we’re getting some action in the pool.”

He said his team was negatively affected when the pool closed in 2020 and lost about half of his swimmers.

The team began training elsewhere, but Henze said there wasn’t enough practice time available.

He said the pool was smaller and offered fewer training options.

“It does impact the training of the older kids and the ability to get our whole team in one place,” Henze said.

“We can’t do that. We’re 65 swimmers and all the pools are just five lanes, 25-metre pools and we used to fit all 80 kids in the pool at the same time. We cannot do that anywhere in Sudbury.”

He said he is hopeful that the pool will reopen.

“We hope we can start training back at home again,” Henze said.

For its part, Laurentian said that “a significant investment is required to perform a series of tests on the pool to assess the extent of the work to be done,” but it hopes to have an update at the end of April. 

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