Mike Scott, the new aquatics supervisor with the Town of Hay River, began working on Nov. 2.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

The swimming pool in Hay River has a new supervisor.

Mike Scott – officially called the aquatics supervisor – began working for the Town of Hay River on Nov. 2.

Scott said he enjoys working at swimming pools, and is looking forward to his new role.

“I enjoy seeing people coming in and being happy,” he said. “People like coming to the pool and getting out and being active. I like being a part of that.”

Scott, who is a newcomer to Hay River, has considerable experience in overseeing the operations of a swimming pool.

“I was the pool supervisor in Inuvik for almost seven years,” he said, noting he spent the past year in Yellowknife.

Plus, the native of Kirkland Lake, Ont., has similar experience in Eastern Canada.

“I’d been co-ordinator at a couple of other pools in Ontario, and done waterfront supervision at some YMCA summer camps throughout the years,” he said. “And then the opportunity in Inuvik came up and I thought it would be a good change for the family. So we uprooted from Ontario and away we went.”

Scott said his work at pools goes even further back.

“I was a lifeguard in high school and took recreation in college,” he said. “And I was a competitive swimmer all through high school, so it seemed like a natural fit.”

As for what brings Scott to Hay River, it is a chance to get back to working at a swimming pool.

“I wasn’t working in pools in Yellowknife and it was a good opportunity to get back into it, and it was something I liked doing,” he said.

In Yellowknife, the 47-year-old worked at a couple of different things, including in construction and as an emergency dispatcher for the city’s fire department.

“I missed working with the people and the kids, and seeing them enjoying the water and the pool,” he said.

Now that he is in Hay River, Scott is overseeing the Don Stewart Aquatic Centre, which reopened on Nov. 9 after being closed since March because of Covid-19 restrictions.

“It will be nice to have people start coming in,” he said.

Scott noted the swimming pool is a beautiful facility, recalling he first saw it about five years ago when he was in town for a course.

The new supervisor said there are Covid restrictions at the aquatic centre – at most 18 people in the pool at a time, two lifeguards on deck and four people in the hot tub for a total of 24 people, and three people in each change room at one time.

Stephane Millette, the town’s director of recreation, said he is happy to have Scott join the team.

“Mike has a lot of experience, and I think he’s going to help our aquatic centre move forward and provide awesome services for the community,” said Millette.

The recreation director said the staff members at the swimming pool have been busy getting it ready for reopening.

“So we haven’t talked about any changes that we’re looking at further down the road or anything like that,” said Millette. “Mike’s getting familiarized and getting to know the staff and getting to know the procedures we have set up for reopening as of right now.”

Scott is encouraging former users to return to the swimming pool, even if they may have adopted other exercise routines while the facility was closed.

“I’m hoping that we’re busy, as busy as we’re able to be,” he said. “Hopefully, people enjoy coming back out.”

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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