Programs for swimming pools

Programs for swimming pools


Posted By on Dec 17, 2013

TIME MANAGEMENT Working 9 to 5 doesn’t apply to aquatics facilities — at least not to aquatics facilities that want to remain open. Approximately 41 percent of respondents stated that their pool stays open between 9 and 12 hours, while 59 percent responded that their pool is open for 13 hours or longer. For many, being handcuffed by swim lessons, swim teams and/or open swim forces them to use pool space at odd hours to accommodate other activities, such as adult water aerobics and programs for swimming pools. Todd Roth, aquatics supervisor for both the Welch Swimming Pool and Park Forest Pool in State College, Penn., shared what a typical day at his pools looks like: • Two hours per day for swim lessons • Three and a half hours for swim teams • Seven hours for open swim This schedule essentially monopolizes Roth’s pool programming from sunrise to sundown, forcing him to schedule his masters swim program — known as “AM Aquafit” — at 6 a.m. The AM Aquafit program offers a variety of water workouts, including adult swim team workouts, self-guided lap swimming and water walking against the channel. Despite being a strong program with solid interest from the community, Roth admits to struggling to get a large turnout because the class is so early in the morning — a dilemma that Jenni Phillips, aquatics supervisor for the City of Cody, Wyo., knows all too well. “Finding the right time is a challenge,” she says. “We have people who say our water aerobics classes are either too early or too late or not on the right day. We modify the class every couple of years to see if we can reach anybody else.” Another obstacle for Phillips is the costs involved with participating in programs. “Most of the people for our water aerobics classes are on a fixed budget and cannot afford to pay the cost that we need to charge for our programs.” SPECIAL EVENTS Rather than focus on building up specific programs, aquatics directors are investing in one-time activities that will cost less for the user but generate stronger participation for the aquatics facility. “People have so many choices now,” says Roth, who has to compete with Penn State University,  and other local pools. All of these offer swim lesson options, making the market extremely competitive. And Roth acknowledges that he can’t compete against the YMCAs for the adult fitness business, because their programs are year-round. “The market is getting diluted now with so many choices that you need to find a niche or focus on single events rather than programs,” he says. Roth has...

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