The numbers have risen enormously at city pools and this enthusiasm is likely to outlast the summer. T. MADHAVAN and VIPASHA SINHA tell you why

A spate of drownings in the suburbs during this summer underlines the need for swimming pools. The majority of the victims were children. They lost their lives while taking a dip in water-filled abandoned quarries, ponds and lakes.

They had plunged into the waters to chill out. Clearly, the availability of swimming pools with reasonable membership charges in their neighbourhoods would have made all the difference. On a less sombre note, though, the flurry of registrations for swimming classes in the city during summer also underscores the importance of pools. It is learnt that most city pools have increased their workforce to meet the summer demand.

Given this climate, pool managers don’t have to woo customers. But they do: both private and public pools place an enticing array of offers.

To give some examples: V.V. International School of Swimming, which has set up facilities in Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam and Mogappair, plays the free coaching card.

The SDAT-run Velachery Acquatic Complex offers a special course for beginners conducted by coaches trained under National Institute of Sports.

Then, on a different platform, certain swimming pools welcome special children. Artvi Swiming Pool in Velachery has a programme tailored to special needs of children with dyslexia, autism and physical disabilities.

MJL Swimming Pool on Camp Road, Selaiyur, has a special training module for hyperactive children.

These initiatives are why enthusiasm for swimming will outlast the summer.

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