Swimmers, waders and aquasizers dip into the waters of the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Pool every day.
The pools are hustling with activities and it is Heather Quitley’s job to ensure everything is running smoothly and space is available when people book it.
Quitley is the interim aquatics allocation clerk for Nanaimo’s parks, recreation and culture department and she solves a lot of puzzles.
Her job is an assembly routine where she connects the needs of groups, school classes, organizations and individuals with the pool space they desire or rooms for hosting events. She figures out how to connect the two so people can get into the water.
Quitley said the difference between the NAC and Beban Pool is the aquatic centre has open swimming all day long, while Beban has restricted hours where people can drop in for public swims.
It’s a people person job and Quitley loves it.
“I love interacting with people,” said Quitley. “I am a people person and love seeing people’s expressions when I deal with them face-to-face.”
Quitley started working for the City of Nanaimo 16 years ago as a lifeguard. After that she decided to get into the technical aspects of management. She went to Malaspina College – now Vancouver Island University – and completed the applied business technology program.
An aquatic allocation clerk handles pool bookings for both the NAC and Beban Pool, as well as the centre’s rental rooms. Seating ranges from about 100 people in a theatre style arrangement to about 230 people. The capacities may be reduced depending on the room set up.
Quitley said Room B is popular for birthday party bookings because it has a foosball and ice hockey table.
Bookings depend on what activities are already scheduled and the configuration of the pool. The NAC pool changes depending on where the bulkhead is placed in the main swimming area.
At the aquatic centre, people can book anywhere from a single pool lane, about 16 lanes or the entire facility. Sometimes people, who are training and want guaranteed space to work on their stroke, book a lane to ensure they have the space when they go to the facility.
There have been some interesting bookings over the years from scuba divers and kayak trainers, to aircraft pilots practising to escape from their cockpits if they crash land or are forced to set down in the water.
For more information about pool and room bookings at the NAC or Beban Pool, please contact Quitley at 250-756-5200 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.