It will be easier for Aldergrove youth to take a swim and work out at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre (ACUCC) this summer.
Nearing the last day of school, starting June 26, a youth pass will offer those aged 13 to 18 unlimited drop-in access to the pool, sauna, hot tub, and gym until school gets back in session – for a one-time cost of $20.
Langley Township mayor and councillors (with the exception of Coun. Bob Long) voted in favour of the pass, first advocated for by Aldergrove residents Dianne Kask and Pam Alzona – who agreed there wasn’t enough affordable activities for the community’s idle youth.
In mid-April, Kask came before council asking them to consider an ACUCC youth pass, similar to those implemented in neighbouring communities including Abbotsford and Surrey.
Youth participation in physical activities are reduced when barriers to access, such as finances are present, related Township deputy director of parks and rec. Rob Stare.
Now that something has been offered, Kask told the Aldergrove Star that she is happy.
Though she’s “disappointed nothing was put in place for a pass for younger children” ages 11 and 12, she said.
“They will have to pay three times as much for this summer,” which councillor Kim Richter pointed out.
A one-month recreation pass for children at the ACUCC is listed at $34.10, compared to $20 for youth, for more than two months.
“It just seems unfair,” Richter said.
Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience water park has been excluded from the youth pass, due to its “uniqueness” and the cost to operate that portion of the facility, Stare added.
Aldergrove’s multi-million dollar community centre opened most of its aquatic offerings in June of 2018.
In 2019, youth admissions to the waterpark in 2019 totalled approximately $49,000, the Township report detailed.
A Township staff report to mayor and council detailed that Abbotsford’s launch of a similar discount for youth in 2019 resulted in increased overall revenue.
Other Fraser Valley municipalities have just broken even in cost, the report reads.
Following the first summer ACUCC offers the new $20 youth pass, Township staff will evaluate its success and suggest future recommendations for the initiative.
Kask and Richter include consideration of a recreation discount for a broader range of Aldergrove youths, including those as young as 11 years of age.