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A look back at my Forty Years at Dalplex

Posted by Dr. Greg Booth on July 21, 2021 in Current News
Dr. Booth reflects on his 40 years as a member of Dalplex.
Dr. Booth reflects on his 40 years as a member of Dalplex.

By Dr. Greg Booth, DDS Class of ‘61

Dalplex was built in 1979 for students at Dalhousie University. Dr. Larry Maloney introduced the idea that staff and faculty should be able to use it as well and soon after Dalhousie alumni were looking to join as well. Since then, our larger Dalhousie community have become a fixture at Dalplex. We all felt blessed to be able to use all aspects of the place.

We have been witnesses to many changes at Dalplex over the years. One of the things that has evolved was the weight room. When Dalplex opened, it was a small room at the end of the hall overlooking the squash and racquetball courts (what is now the personal training room). As interest grew in the equipment housed there, it spread to a space in the fieldhouse and to what is now the spin studio and got a new name: the Cybex Room.

It wasn’t just Dalplex that changed over the years; we changed too. Our hair grew grey and the activities we participated in at Dalplex changed too. Known as the Silver Tigers, we started out hidden under the pool in the pool observation room. Contrary to the name of the room, we wanted to say out of sight of the rest of the members, but as our confidence grew in our aging bodies and skills, we ventured out of hiding. Eventually we made it to the badminton courts, fitness classes with weights and floor exercises and took dips in the pool.

Although we were trying to outrun Father Time, we became parents, grandparents, and some great grandparents over the years. Many of us were able to see these joyful moments because of the regular exercise we were participating in at Dalplex.

Aside from our family moments, there were joyful moments we witness in the building as well. The pool provided not only members new exercise opportunities, but also provided the varsity team members with many fine hours of training, the opportunity to host swim meets against both local and national competition and Swim Canada Nationals.

Two meets stick out in my memories. In 1987 the pool in Dalplex became known as a very fast pool when Alex Baumann set a world best time of 4:09.64 in the 400m IM at the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union championship. The other meet that stands out was National Special Olympic Championship. What a great bunch of swimmers! The place was filled with cheering spectators who enthusiastically had the wave going in the stands!

Shifting to more recent memories, the new addition to Dalplex again expanded the weight room (now the fitness hall) and saw the addition of new studios for our older adult fitness classes. The new hardwood floor in the fieldhouse has given it a new life! And yes, you can still find us playing badminton there. We are up to 5 courts of doubles badminton many days and would love to see new faces join us!

About Dr. Booth.

In addition to being one of the original Dalplex members, Dr. Booth has spent countless hours as a volunteer for many activities at Dalplex. He is a Master official in swimming and has served as a starter and meet coordinator for swim meets at the local, provincial, national and university levels.

Dr. Booth is also a certified fitness instructor, qualified on seniors, weight training and floor exercises. A level one badminton coach, he has been a national level lifeguard and was the first person to receive a Gold D from Dalhousie’s Department of Athletics & Recreation in honour of his volunteerism.