Belmont Pool

By: 
Chris Reid

In response to repeated disparaging letters regarding the replacement (with reduced amenities) of Long Beach’s Public Olympic pool opened in 1968: I worked at the Belmont Plaza Pool, as did my older siblings from 1975-1981. There was a “floating staff” of up to 20 then.

We provided year-round services including recreational swimming day and night (citizens from all over the city were regulars), swimming lessons for all ages and levels, a volunteer recreational aid program for local youth (some we would say today may have been “at risk”) and hosted countless competitions and practices for youth teams up to State University Championships for water polo, diving and swim.

The pool was often open and filled – including spectators – for up to 12-hour periods. Some days we served over 300 recreational swim participants.

But the main service was aspirational since local youth from high school and other municipal pools fed into centralized teams and programs such as Red Cross CPR and WSI (water safety instructor) and would engage with recreational and athletic mentors sometimes becoming life-long swimmers as a result.

 

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