The pools I swam at in Fife, from September to December 2015 were in: Cupar, St Andrews, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Burntisland; Bowhill was closed at the time and I didn't get to Cowdenbeath or Levenmouth pools although I'd used them back in the 1990's when a student at Fife College, found them OK for leisure swimming not for doing lengths.
Cupar was closest but had slippy old tiled flooring and psychiatric nurses from Stratheden using the facilities, one of whom had assaulted my son 1Feb12. St Andrews East Sands leisure centre changing rooms were in need of refurbishment, broken lockers and hairdryers, pool didn't have enough room for proper length swimming. Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes were new pools funded by Sport Scotland.
The Kirkcaldy pool I found to be risky, safety wise, and males swimming aggressively. There weren't enough lifeguards on duty one Saturday, electric sockets at toddler height near hairdryer tables with no safety plugs, mixed gender changing rooms unsupervised, teenagers running wild. I reported my concerns at the time to NE Fife MSP Roderick Campbell who acted on my behalf, writing to the Fife Trust. Glenrothes pool seemed to have been taken over by swimming clubs, especially at weekends and through the week public swimming wasn't always available. On speaking to local folk they didn't seem happy about this.
|at Burntisland Beacon Centre Dec15|
I enjoyed swimming at the Burntisland and Dunfermline Carnegie centre pools. The former had helpful staff, nice views out large windows surrounding the pool, the latter also had friendly staff, many different facilities on offer. But both centres were difficult to access by public transport from where I live. A bus then two trains or two buses and a distance to walk. In addition there weren't fitness options available to suit.
|at Tollcross pool Glasgow Dec15|
|London Olympic pool Nov15|
|after swim London Fields Lido Jul16|
|at Kensington pool London Nov16|
I've been a member now at the Olympia Dundee for over a year, travelling via two buses, and have found swimming there to be very therapeutic, relaxing and safe. Lane swimming and hot showers, useful when recovering from a hamstring injury after a bike fall in September. Having taken up cycling early in the year, on and off road, I don't use the gym as much, do dumbbell exercises at home. There's only so much gear I can carry in my rucksack at the one time!
Summing up, it was useful to try out other swimming pools and I will continue to do so when visiting new areas, if possible. It was like a mini action research project, testing out the waters, building up confidence while getting fitter. All grist to the mill for a psychiatric survivor, adventurer and PhD student.
|after swimming at The Olympia Dundee 5 December 2016|