There may be snow on the ground, but that didn't stop kids from enjoying the pool as 1,445 youth hit the water in February as part of the Kiwanis Club's and the Aquatic Centre's free swim month.

Corla Rokochy, the aquatic superintendent at the Aquatic Center and Fairview Pool, said the month gave youth a chance to enjoy physical activity while being out of the cold.

"It was a great time here at the aquatic centre," she said. "It was such a cold and snowy month out there with a lot of ice, so it's not the greatest place to be outside exercising. It really encourages the youth to come in and maybe get away from the video games for a change and get some physical activity, so it's the perfect place to be in February."

Rokochy says that this year's numbers increased significantly from last year's.

"There was an increase in numbers this year due to the fact that the Kiwanis club upped their sponsorship and included youth 17 and under," she said. "Last year it was six to 11-year-olds, and this year they decided to include everyone that's 17 and under and give them the opportunity to come this time of year and somewhere safe and fun to play."

Rokochy adds that they had lineups out the door and had to call in extra staff to accommodate the influx of swimmers.

"We want to have them in here and learning to be water smart and enjoying time with their friends somewhere safe getting physical activity," she said. "It's a little hard this time of year when it's cold and dark out a lot. You want to be somewhere that you can exercise and be with your friends and enjoy physical activity."

Rokochy added to see the Kiwanis club step up and sponsor the month met a lot to the pool.

"To see the pool being used and active, meant a lot to the staff who will be able to have positions here because of the facility being used, and it means a lot to the youth," she said. "For them to have an entire month of options, to be able to come when it works with their schedule and do something fun and active with their friends. It was just a real winning month here at the aquatic centre."

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