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Poolgate

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For months now, the pool heater at Robert F. Kennedy has been broken, and the repairing of the heater has been postponed over and over again without answers. This has stopped the RFK swim team from practicing and preparing themselves for their swim meets.

“Data shows that, on average, athletes that don’t practice do 30% worse than athletes that do practice on the daily,” according to a report by the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF).

The Robert F. Kennedy swim team has been unable to practice properly for about two months. They have had to go to Miguel Contreras via public transportation to be able to practice in a heated pool.

“This is simply unacceptable, since the school isn’t able to repair the heater for the swimming pool, and this is supposed to be the most expensive school in the Los Angeles Unified School District,” said Nazario Campos, a sophomore scholar.

The swim team has been riding on public transit, such as the Metro bus, in order to get to their practice location, Miguel Contreras (M.C.). Both the team and the coach have had to pay out of their own pocket for transportation. Some swimmers’ parents feel that it is unsafe for their children to be coming home late at night due to practicing away from RFK. A number of swimmers cannot afford to spend that much money throughout the whole week, which is why several have even decided to quit the season.

The swim team’s coach, Ros Mayfield stated, “Honestly, it’s no one’s fault. The pool has to be heated 24/7 due to an accident that happened a couple years back regarding pool covers. The pool’s heater couldn’t take it anymore, which is why it’s understandable the heater died.”

With the rule to ban pool covers within the Los Angeles Unified School District, heaters have begun to die out. Regardless of dying out, the matter is: how fast can RFK replace or fix the pool’s heater?

“The pool heater has been broken for as long since the heater has been custom-made to fit our pool and our needs,” said Erik Nielson, the assistant principal of the Ambassador School of Global Leadership (ASGL).

Coming from multiple sources such as the swim team’s coach and the assistant principal of ASGL, they say that “the pool should be fixed within a week.”

“They’ve been saying that for months now,” says Erick Romero, a swimmer from LAHSA.

Romero is just one example of a growing sense of frustration, along with their parents. Many swimmers’ parents are concerned with their students’ safety, having to go to Miguel Contreras right after school and back at around 6PM.

Now, even M.C.’s pool heater has broken down. So neither M.C nor RFK have a pool to swim at.

As stated above from the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF), being able to actually swim in the pool is crucial for a swimmer’s growth, especially during swim season. Without swimming, the swimmers will begin to lose the ability to further expand on their techniques, and thus also lose interest in the sport altogether.

These are just some of the reasons as to why RFK swimmers are quitting swim season!

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