Maximizing Your Indoor Aquatics Programs

With cold winds blowing and snow in many areas of the country, active lifestyle enthusiasts are turning inside to get their daily fix of activity. Parents, too, are looking for ways to encourage health for their kids along with much-needed activities to get out the winter wiggles. While swimming is often associated with the outdoor, warm weather months, indoor aquatics programs are hot during the winter.

Make the most of indoor aquatics with these suggestions:

Refresh your air

Chemicals are used in an effort to keep pool water and facilities clean, but poor ventilation in indoor pool facilities can actually create hazardous breathing air. Working with a professional, make sure your air quality and ventilation meet industry guidelines. For a quick reference check out this guide.

Track lesson enrollment

Using a data management system such as ACTIVE Net, tracking participation rates and enrollment is a breeze. Are weekday mornings unpopular? Do you have overflow in your afternoon lessons and need to add another offering? Evaluate the ebbs and flow to maximize class and instructor time, increasing your enrollment.

Think outside the box

Of the pool, that is. According to Campus REC Magazine, the trend in campus pools is “diverse and active portions of water.” For example, adding certain amenities around your distance lap pool can transform the same water into recreational swimming later in the day. What can you add to a simple rectangular pool to encourage play for kids, older adult socialization, special events, etc. all at their specific times.

Jack Patton of RDG Planning and Design explains,

“For example, at North Dakota State University in the aquatic center that opened up a few months ago, we put an indoor fireplace in the pool area. It doesn’t really heat anything, but now the most popular time of day is the 10pm to Midnight swim because the fireplace is on, the lights are low and socialization opportunities make that a key time for everyone to hang in the pool. The fireplace is not the driver, but it is another piece that makes the space more fun.”

Offer special sessions

Ideas according to aquaclimb.com include Infant Aquatic Survival, Arthritis Aquatics and Safety (boating, beach, waterpark, etc.).

Elevate your amenities

Water goes hand-in-hand with spa services, and while you run a recreation facility and not a luxury spa, a few upgrades can turn a swim lesson or lap session into a full experience for your members. Ideas include:

  • Family bathrooms with walk-in showers and supplied toiletries so parents and kids can clean up after swimming and go on with their day
  • Hot tubs
  • Steam rooms or saunas
  • Updated and aesthetically pleasing locker rooms

Making your aquatics program a true destination for families and members will keep your programs hot even on the coldest of days. These investments will last, no matter the season.

Gina Calvert

Gina is the Senior Marketing Writer for ACTIVE Network, providing marketing and business resources for active lifestyle organizations across a range of markets, including government, nonprofits, YMCAs, Parks & Recs, camps, schools and endurance events, for almost 7 years.

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