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Aquatics Newsletter | January 2011 |
Youth Leagues Focus on Skills and Fun! 


Water PoloDo you have a swimmer looking to try something new? This spring, we're offering two different leagues that emphasize learning in a low-key, competitive environment. These are ideal for youth who are new to the sports, or for those looking to improve their skills.

The Diving League is for kids age 7-15. Teams practice at Bayside and Great Neck on Monday and Wednesday evenings, February 28 through May 7, or at Princess Anne on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, March 1 through May 7. Meets are held Friday evenings with the championship meet scheduled for Saturday, May 7. The Diving League costs $85. Register!

Geared for swimmers age 10-17 who are interested in more of a physical challenge, the Water Polo League will teach swimmers nuances of the sport. Practices are held at Princess Anne on Monday and Wednesday evenings, March 21 through May 20, or at Bayside on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, March 22 through May 20. Scrimmages are conducted during practice times, with matches scheduled for April 8 and May 20. The Water Polo League is $100. Register!


For more information about these leagues, please contact an aquatic unit supervisor at any Virginia Beach Recreation Center or email

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Part-Time Aquatics Positions Available! 


We're hiring! Love to be around the water? Looking for a part-time job? Our Aquatics Unit is hiring for the following positions:


   -  Water Safety Instructor

   -  Springboard Diving Coach/Instructor

   -  Water Polo Coach


These positions offer the unique opportunity to share your passion and skills with individuals who want to learn to swim, dive or play water polo. Recreation center locations and hours vary for each position. Please visit to view qualifications and to submit an application. Must apply by January 28 for consideration. All positions pay $12.17/hour.

Swimming Tip: Breathing Basics 


Taking a BreathMany swimmers, both experienced and novice, have problems with their breathing while swimming. Swimmers may get an "out of breath" feeling or have trouble taking in enough air. When this happens, swimming becomes a lot more difficult. In addition to the discomfort of not enough air, the higher you lift or the further you turn your head to breathe, the more your feet sink and you lose the streamline position.


Ideally, swimmers should remain in a streamline position while swimming to reduce resistance to the water. The head should be in alignment with the spine. When breathing, the head should be turned slightly to the side and a quick breath taken. The head is not lifted to get the breath; the head is turned with one ear always in the water. The arm on the non-breathing side should remain just below the surface of the water. If you take too long to get the breath, that arm sinks and the body is no longer in a streamline position, making swimming harder due to increased resistance or drag.


The secret to proper breathing is to be sure to exhale completely while your face is in the water. You may have to forcefully blow the air out. When you turn your head to breathe, you just need to take in a small amount of air, not a big gulp. If you blow out all of your air underwater, when you turn your head to breathe, the air will rush in because you have created a vacuum. The side ache and "out of breath" feeling come from not exhaling and therefore not having room in your lungs for more air. Think about it - you have to exhale completely to make room for what is inhaled. Even experienced swimmers sometimes have to consciously think about completely exhaling.

Recognizing Our Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season


Scott KIn every business there are employees whose work is consistently above and beyond the call of duty. For our lifeguards, excellence is rewarded with the Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season distinction. The lifeguard chosen is selected by both peers and supervisors for contributions to the Aquatic Unit over the course of four months. The qualifying criteria are no easy feat for any guard to accomplish, yet the number of nominees made the selection of only one extremely competitive.

When you meet Scott Knapp, you'll understand why he earned the distinction of Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season for December 2010. Scott is extremely professional. He understands the responsibility that lifeguards must assume each day and gives 100%. He does not have to be asked to remain vigilant, to maintain his level of fitness and training or to perform maintenance; his initiative takes care of that. In addition to honing his skills during scheduled in-service training, Scott has put them to use in real rescue situations. In fact, he is the first lifeguard to administer oxygen to a patron with a breathing emergency since emergency oxygen became available to first responders in our recreation centers. He feels very gratified by helping others and doesn't view his actions as anything other than "doing the right thing."

What makes a lifeguard of this caliber? It all goes back to swimming. Scott has been swimming since he was a child; he even swam for the Winter Swim League as a Kempsville Comet. As a teen, he worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor, but left the field in pursuit of other options. When his children were born, he came back to aquatics seeking a more flexible schedule and found that he felt right back at home. He renewed his Water Safety Instructor certification as well and is teaching swim lessons so he can inspire others to swim.

Scott truly enjoys his job and the team atmosphere amongst his co-workers, and the Aquatics Unit truly values Scott's contributions. He is a role model for fellow lifeguards and has set the bar pretty high for the next Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season contender.

Thinking About Hitting the Ice? 


Geese on IceWinter is here and you may be tempted to venture onto the ice that has formed on one of our many water sources. Is the ice really safe? Unfortunately, there is no sure answer. You cannot judge the strength of ice by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors - plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice and local climatic conditions.

Use a safer alternative. If you want to go onto the ice, then visit your local ice skating rink. Here in Virginia Beach, there is no such thing as 100% safe ice. Due to our fluctuating temperatures during the winter months, it just isn't safe to venture onto any ice-covered lake, stream or storm water retention pond. Even if the ice is a foot thick in one area, it may be one inch thick just a few yards away. Be safe and spread the word!

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures


Bow Creek Recreation Center will be closed February 28 through March 6 for maintenance.


Seatack Recreation Center will be closed March 14-20 for maintenance.


The pool at Kempsville Recreation Center will be closed through Spring 2011 for renovations.
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
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Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation is accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association.