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Aquatics Newsletter | November 2010 | VBgov.com/Parks
Get Ready for Some Competition!

Swimmers at Starting BlockIt's time again for a season of sizzling competition! The pools at Bayside, Great Neck and Princess Anne are host to a variety of swimming competitions including high school swimming, high school diving and our winter swim league.

The swimming competition consists of a mixture of individual swimming events and relays swum in one or more of the four competitive strokes: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. Each stroke is swum in races whose distances vary from a short 25-meter sprint to a quarter of a mile (400 meters). The pools consist of eight lanes, each 25 meters in length, with up to eight swimmers battling for each race.

StarterThe diving competition consists of individual divers performing up to six dives each off a 1-Meter Springboard. Dives are categorized into five groups: forward, reverse, back, inward and twisting; and each dive may be performed in one of four positions: straight, pike, tuck and free. Each dive is rated for its degree of difficulty, ranging from 1.4 for a straight forward dive to 3.6 for a forward twisting pike performed with 2 somersaults and 2 twists.

Swimming and diving competitions generate energy and excitement in the pools, so stop by and get in on the action! View the Competition Schedule for dates, times and locations, as well as pool closures due to the meets.

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Pool Events

11/12 | Movie in the Pool: Toy Story | Princess Anne

11/21 | Float-a-Rama | Great Neck

12/12 | Float-a-Rama | Bayside

12/17 | Movie in the Pool: Elf | Bow Creek

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Quick Tip: Adding Fins to Your Workout

Did you know by adding fins to your workout you can conserve energy, improve stroke technique and reduce drag? By using your fins to work on three areas of your stroke, you can improve on those performance issues.

First, get your kick tempo to a two beat kick and then move on to four beat, six beat or even eight beat kick; this will help you to conserve energy. Second, get your stroke combined with your kick by coordinating your kick with the force of your underwater pull. This will help improve technique and improve body position in the water. Finally, maintain a small amplitude flutter kick by keeping your kick controlled and tight. By keeping the kick tight and controlled this will help reduce drag and improve body rotation.
Maintaining Their Skills to Save Lives

LifeguardLifeguards are professional rescuers, trained to help prevent injuries and to respond in an emergency to help save a life. Lifeguards are part of a team and must work together in order to calmly and efficiently manage crisis situations. Being a lifeguard requires hard work, as they are responsible for others' lives. It is a responsibility that requires the practice of skilled routines intended to maintain a state of constant readiness.

Mock drills or emergency dry runs--where a scenario is purposely initiated--are good ways to maintain a high level of constant readiness, thus enabling lifeguards and other staff to react to real and possibly dangerous situations. Drills at the City's recreation centers are conducted by an aquatic supervisor and typically show up unannounced during programs or open swim times. Lifeguards are asked to rescue a designated victim or mannequin while putting the facility's full emergency action plan into effect. This allows aquatic supervisors to evaluate the actions of all personnel involved in the rescue scenario. Other staff within the department may be used to help with the evaluation and to stop the drill at the appropriate time. You may even be asked to exit the pool or program area, but don't worry, we will let you back in soon.

So the next time you visit any of our recreation centers, you may notice lifeguards and other staff practicing simulated scenarios in all areas of our the center. Training drills help the staff maintain a high standard of readiness and are crucial for assessing the skills and knowledge of our recreation center staff. These drills (also known as "bandana drills") may include, but are not limited to assisting a swimmer in shallow or deep water; responding to a spinal injury; or providing first aid. In any event, we welcome your comments and feedback.
Growing Up in Parks and Rec Aquatics
 
KatlynnKatlynn Walz cannot remember a time when the recreation centers were not part of her life. Her earliest rec center memory, when she was only five years old, is watching her mom, Michelle Walz, teaching a therapeutic recreation class in the pool. Instead of quietly coloring in the classroom, Katlynn was drawn to the action in the pool.

Once she turned six, she was old enough to join the center's winter swim league. She swam for Kempsville, beginning when the team was still called the Comets, and continued through her eighth grade year. She loved the competitive atmosphere, and she especially enjoyed feeling the rush of being on the starting block at a swim meet. Once in the water though, the sounds of the crowd quieted and she got into the rhythm of the swim.

At age 13, Katlynn wanted do more at the recreation center than just swim on the team, so she took a Junior Lifeguard class and became a volunteer. She volunteered her time in the summers during camps and swim lessons. She really enjoyed her interactions with the staff because she felt appreciated by them and looked up to many as big brothers and sisters. In addition to helping the staff keep the pool safe, Katlynn was still very interested in swimming. She became a Water Safety Instructor Aide, another volunteer position, assisting swim instructors with lessons. 

By the time she was 16 years old, Katlynn accumulated enough volunteer hours to enroll in a Water Safety Instructor course, and once certified, was hired as an Aquatic Instructor. Katlynn was motivated to earn her certification because she aspires to be a teacher and felt the instructional experiences would be helpful. She also really enjoys working with young swimmers and helping them gain proficiency in the water. She knew she was onto something special when after teaching a Parent/Child class several of the participants commented that she sounded like her mom.

Katlynn's love for aquatics doesn't end there. She enrolled in a Lifeguard Training class and then began working as a lifeguard. Katlynn values her job as a lifeguard because she says it builds character, develops teamwork and is fun. After years of teaching swim lessons and safeguarding the patrons, Katlynn has stepped into a new role for the department. She was recently hired as a Swim Coach for our winter swim league. Her experience within aquatics has come full circle, and she looks forward to the challenge of helping young swimmers get a start in competition. Katlynn feels like the recreation centers are her home away from home; she's been here through so many different stages of her life. It is now her hope that she will be able to have a positive impact on the next young person with aquatic dreams.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures

The pool at Kempsville Recreation Center will be closed through May 2011 for renovations. 

All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers and Owl Creek Tennis Center will be closed on November 11 for Veteran's Day and November 25-26 for Thanksgiving.

Don't forget that your membership is good at all six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers! If your usual center is closed for maintenance, take the opportunity to visit another center. Use this locator to help you find one!
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation believes all of our diverse citizens have a right to participate in community recreation and we are committed to creating equal access for everyone who may have a challenge or barrier. If you or your child require additional support, we can help.  Learn more about our accommodation and inclusion services.
We welcome your comments and questions.  Feel free to email us at fun@vbgov.com.
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.