In its first year, the polar bear plunge at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre drew about 80 people. (Aldergrove Star files)

In its first year, the polar bear plunge at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre drew about 80 people. (Aldergrove Star files)

COVID curtails polar plunges around Lower Mainland, including Aldergrove

Dip held at Credit Union Community Centre swimming pool would have been in third year

People won’t be able to plunge into the chilly waters at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre (ACUSS) swimming pool this January 1 for the annual polar bear swim.

Langley Township is unable to offer the annual New Years Day swim due to COVID-19 Public Health orders and restrictions.

This would have been the third year that the Township offered the tradition at ACUCC; 2018 saw about 80 adults and kids take a dip in the unheated outdoor Aldergrove pool – an interest high enough to make it an annual outing.

ACUCC would additionally open their hot tub for the event and serve hot chocolate to warm up participants.

The annual Fort Langley Polar Bear Swim is a more casual affair that draws dozens to jump in below-zero waters in the Fraser River off Brae Island.

The swimming usually starts at noon and finishes very soon after; people are free to plunge at their leisure if they choose to do so.

Darian Kovacs, the founder of Jelly Marketing, took a polar bear plunge with just a few friends eight years ago, and the tradition has since grown on its own.

Kovacs told Black Press Media that he’s not sure what to expect this year, but confirmed that he will indeed be there to take the plunge.

Other events across the Lower Mainland such as the long-standing Polar Bear Swim at English Bay in downtown Vancouver have moved to an online dip for 2021, encouraging people to post pictures and videos of their own isolated polar plunge experience in the bathtub or backyard pool.

READ MORE: Two pools to re-open in Langley Township by January

Staff at Langley Township and ACUSS did say they look forward to offering it again next year.

The swimming pool, located at 27032 Fraser Highway, is still open to the public for regular use.

Lap swimming has an allowance of three people per lane, which over a maximum of six lanes is eighteen swimmers.

Public swim sessions have a capacity of 48.

W.C. Blair Pool re-opened by appointment only in mid-December.

Swimmers are encouraged to check online at www.tol.ca/covid19 for any updates.

The first local Polar Bear Swim Club was formed in Langley Township in 1949. Their first dip was taken on Christmas Day of the same year.

________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

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