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To: Mayor and the City Council of San Diego

Save San Diego's Recreational Swim Programs

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

In the budget recommendations released by Mayor Gloria for Fiscal Year 2025 (Volume 1), there is a recommendation to cut operating hours and funding for 5.5 full-time employees, essentially cutting recreational swim team and water polo programs in the non-summer months at all pools except for one that is contractually obligated to do so. We are unsure if this is a one-time cut for FY 2025 or will be ongoing. This can have significant drawbacks and there are several compelling reasons to advocate against this decision.

Please sign this petition to save the year-round swim team and water polo programs offered by City of San Diego-operated public pools. Your voice is needed to advocate for a change in the proposed FY 2025 budget to add back in the staff and hours that are needed to operate a year-round recreational swim and water polo team program at City pools. We should be investing in these programs not taking them away.

Why is this important?

The City's swim program activities had to rebuild after being unavailable during the COVID-19 pandemic when pools were closed, followed by a shortage of trained and certified pool guards, swim instructors, pool managers, and coaches. There was also broken pool infrastructure that took months to fix.

City pools provide:
• Swim lessons/classes for youth and adults at various skill levels
• Year-round youth swim teams and water polo
• Year-round access to recreational and lap swimming sessions for the community at large
• Local high schools use city pools for their swim and water polo programs

Importance of recreation swim and water polo teams:
• Affordable for all
• More inclusive of all swim levels; providing greater opportunities for individual swimmers - as young as age 6
• Kids who swim on recreational swim and water polo teams advance to high school aquatic programs
• Neighborhood camaraderie and building community

Cutting year-round recreational swim and water polo team programs:
• Negatively impacts the recreational swim teams and swimmers
• Large breaks in training, causing a loss of continuity, hinder progress and competitiveness in these sports, fracturing the swim and water polo programs
• Families may turn to clubs or private facilities that cost significantly more and are further from their neighborhood and community
Families may stop participation altogether because they are unable to find competitive aquatic programs that are budget-friendly and close to home
• Creates a greater disparity in the quality of City athletic swim and water polo programs and creates a larger inequity among all residents
Result in lost revenue opportunities for the City
Water activities may be less top of mind for families, and there could be an increased risk of water-related accidents and drownings
Deprive young people of positive recreational opportunities and social interactions

San Diego boasts 26 miles of shoreline, 15 pools citywide, and a climate where residents can swim year-round. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department should invest in its swim and water polo team programs, not cut staff and resources, and continue to let pools fall into disrepair. The children learning to swim today will be more confident in the water creating a safer community. They could one day be the City’s next generation of instructors, lifeguards, first responders, and City leaders.

Sign this petition to send a message to our City's leadership to preserve our youth's swim and water polo team programs.



2024-05-15 15:18:02 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2024-04-24 10:23:37 -0400

500 signatures reached

2024-04-20 18:42:07 -0400

100 signatures reached

2024-04-20 11:39:43 -0400

50 signatures reached

2024-04-20 11:00:10 -0400

25 signatures reached

2024-04-20 10:25:41 -0400

10 signatures reached