Swimming pools

Allowing walk-in admissions has created more problems

People at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex last year. The writer suggests that the booking system at the swimming complex be changed to make all bookings online-only. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
People at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex last year. The writer suggests that the booking system at the swimming complex be changed to make all bookings online-only. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

As someone who has spinal and knee injuries, I have benefited from swimming three times a week at Toa Payoh Swimming Complex.

Under phase two (heightened alert) measures, 17 online bookings and 11 walk-in bookings are allowed for each one-hour time slot.

This has created issues. For the 6.30am time slot, for example, those who arrive the earliest have been placing bags to reserve the rest of the walk-in bookings for their family members and friends. In some cases, people have arrived as early as 5.20am only to find that there are no walk-in bookings left for the 6.30am time slot. This has led to altercations.

I believe that Sport Singapore's intentions when instituting the current policy - to help non-IT-savvy seniors through walk-in admission - were good, but things have not worked out in practice. Instead, more problems have been created.

I suggest that the booking system be changed. Make all bookings online-only. With most people currently working from home, there is a good chance that non-IT-savvy seniors have someone at home who can help them make a booking. Limit bookings to three per person per week.

Pools that are patronised by more seniors should reserve the 6.30am slot for them. This would allow them to travel at a time when there are fewer people out and about in public.

All seniors want is to keep fit and not be a burden to the healthcare system and their family.

Julia Sng-Thng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline 'Allowing walk-in admissions has created more problems'. Subscribe