Paula Kelly

Paula Kelly

I love to swim. I love the water. I love how it makes me feel overall. There is time for myself for me to think. It's a good meditative, thoughtful time.
 
The first time I remember swimming in a pool was Wedgewood Park pool which was a very new pool that had opened and I was down with my father. I still have this memory of being in the shallow end and him saying 'OK come on, come on. Try again.'
 
And I would from that point on just be at home every night: 'Can we go swimming tonight again, Dad.’
 
It was a gathering place for the community for the kids. I went from that pool, which was a little 20 yard pool,  went on to make the 1977 Canada Summer Games team from that pool and from there progressed on to provincial,  national level competitions and then international.
 
The year 1980 was the Olympics that were held in Moscow. I was on the Olympic swim team but didn't go to the Olympics because of the boycott. It was the height of the Cold War.
 
The Russians they were in Afghanistan. Canada followed suit and other countries followed along with the Americans. Every four years when the Olympics do roll around I keep thinking, 'what could I have done if I went?' went?' And I really feel like something was robbed from us. But you know, life goes on.
 
The City wanted to acknowledge my contributions to the sport of swimming. They wanted to continue with that connection to Wedgewood Park. My name is on the pool here at the Paul Reynolds Centre. My original thought when I first saw this facility was like, wow we’ve come a long way. We have this facility that is bright, twenty-five meters. There are lots of other recreational facilities that surround the pool. It's great for recreation  It's great for competition.
 
Having my name on the new pool definitely does strengthen my connection to the original pool. It brings it full circle.

by Paula Kelly. Ms. Kelly was born and raised in Wedgewood Park where she first learned to swim at Wedgewood Park swimming pool. She went on to become the only Newfoundlander to qualify and be named to Canada's Olympic Swimming Team. The Aquatics Centre at Paul Reynolds Community Centre is named for Ms. Kelly.

Paul Reynolds Community Centre, located at 35 Carrick Drive, is a multi-purpose 74,000 square feet aquatic facility with many amenities including: a full-sized 6,700 square foot gymnasium, 25-metre lane swimming pool, therapeutic warm water leisure pool with zero depth beach entry, two waterslides, hydraulic lift and water wheelchairs, pool viewing area, fully accessible family changerooms, adult size change table, universal changerooms, dedicated youth room, 1,775 square foot dedicated children's area, 900 square foot senior's area, and open concept lobby.