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Aquatics Newsletter | September 2011 |
Get Prepped for Competition!    


Competitive Swim Clinics, Ages 6-17 Swimmer 

These one-hour clinics are for participants who are interested in improving stroke technique and/or starts and turns. Five clinic types are being offered: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and starts and turns. Swimmers must be able to swim one length of the pool (25 meters/yards) using a good basic crawl stroke with rhythmic breathing in order to participate. Get a list of dates and times in the Fall 2011 Catalog or on EZreg. The cost for each clinic is $10. Valid membership or visitor pass is required.

Pre-Season Training for High School Swimmers, Ages 13-18

Aspiring and returning high school swimmers can jumpstart the competitive season by attending these conditioning practices. A trained coach provides a structured workout as well as drills for improving technique. Participants must be enrolled in at least the 9th grade and must be able to swim 100m of freestyle. Each workout is $4 or 4 punches from a Group Fitness Punch Card; a valid membership or visitor pass is also required. 


Bayside | M, W | 5:30 - 6:30 pm | Sept 19 - Nov 2
Great Neck | M, W | 3:30 - 4:30 pm | Sept 26 - Nov 2
Kempsville | T, Th | 3 - 4 pm | Oct 4 - Nov 3
Princess Anne | T, Th | 4 - 5 pm | Oct 4 - Nov 3


Masters Swim, Age 18 & Up

Master the skills of swimming with an experienced, trained coach! Whether your goal is to get fit or train for a triathlon, these structured workouts will help you with stroke improvement and training techniques for a variety of strokes. This is for the avid lap swimmer who can swim 100m freestyle continuously. Each workout is $4 or 4 punches on a Group Fitness Punch card; a valid membership or visitor pass is also required. 


Great Neck | M, W, F | 7:45 - 8:45 am
Great Neck | T, Th | 7 - 8 am 

Pool Calendars

Pool Events
9/25 | Float-a-Rama | Bayside

10/14 | Movie in the Pool | Bow Creek

10/16 | Float-a-Rama | Princess Anne
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Meet the Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season   


Kira LopezIt's the time of year again when the Aquatic Unit must weigh the accolades and accomplishments of lifeguards from a competitive field of candidates to select the Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season. The qualifying criteria have not gotten any easier, yet one lifeguard distinguished herself from the rest and earned the recognition of Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season for September 2011. Congratulations to Kira Lopez!

Kira loves her job at Princess Anne Recreation Center. She always wanted to be a lifeguard and in May 2007 she made that dream a reality. During her lifeguarding course at Bow Creek, Kira knew she had a passion for it as she easily drew in the information about health and safety and performed rescue skills at the top of her class. Soon after, she applied for and accepted a job in our recreation centers. When Kira went away to college, she continued to be a lifeguard and returned to the centers during her summers off. Why? Because Kira loves being in the water!

Over the years, Kira has been through several rescues and says those experiences heighten her alertness and hone her skills. She understands how quickly conditions can change for a victim, so it is important for guards to think "safety first" at all times. When tasked with mentoring new lifeguards, Kira always advocates preventative lifeguarding - reading people and situations, and taking action before they engage in risky behavior. She says that as a lifeguard, you have to step up to the responsibility, and safeguarding a busy pool full of patrons of differing swimming abilities is definitely a big responsibility.

Lifeguarding has been a good life lesson for Kira as well. She says lifeguarding teaches her to understand where people are coming from. Though she feels it her duty to strictly and consistently enforce rules, she enjoys the opportunity to educate patrons about rules and policies. She feels that talking to people helps them understand she wants them to have fun, but in a safe way. In addition to customer service, Kira thinks teamwork is a vital part of lifeguarding. She loves the team aspect of the job, cooperating with and trusting co-workers to train and perform rescue skills together. She truly is a team player and is willing to help others out in whatever ways she can.

This year, Kira took her lifeguarding commitment to a new level and earned her certification as a Lifeguard Training Instructor. She values teaching lifeguard classes because it gives her the opportunity to share her passion and positively influence the next batch of rising lifeguards. 

A Local Story of Shallow Water Blackout   


SwimmerShallow water blackout is a topic which should be brought up often, but unfortunately many have no idea what it is or the dangers it presents. Shallow water blackout is a loss of consciousness caused by hypoxic training, hyperventilating or extended breath holding while swimming. All of these topics and the dangers of each were exposed back in the October 2010 newsletter. This is a topic that truly hits home to swim league coach and water safety & lifeguard instructor, Travis Rider. 


In the summer prior to Travis' sophomore year of high school, his coach introduced a new form of training to the swimmers called hypoxic training. Travis recalls the coach informing them that good swimmers use this technique and while dangerous, they could try it if they wanted. Swimmers began hyperventilating for 15 seconds then swam 50 meters trying to hold their breath, if they were able. Travis tried several times, but on his last attempt he began feeling lightheaded and passed out as soon as he touched the wall; the beginning of a very scary situation.   


Travis was unconscious under water for an estimated 3-4 minutes before a friend noticed. Immediately, coaches and parents brought Travis out of the water and notified emergency personnel. While being brought to safety on the side of the pool, his tailbone was bruised, his head hurt and eardrum ruptured. Rescue breathing was started. At the hospital, his parents were told he wouldn't survive this life threatening situation. Well, Travis did survive, but spent several days in the hospital. One of his lungs and half of the other was filled with fluids. He couldn't take a deep breath for several months and the fluid had to seep out naturally. 


Even after all of this, Travis made a full recovery and was back in the water in just 19 days. Now Travis emphasizes to the younger generation that holding their breath, whether it's for fun or for training, it is not acceptable and is very dangerous. When asked what message he wanted to pass along to those of all ages, he stated, "hypoxic training and hyperventilating doesn't help. The risk of passing out and almost dying over breath holding is just not worth it."  With that said, the recreation center's swimmers responsibilities state: "For your safety, holding your breath, swimming underwater for an extended period of time or hyperventilating is not allowed."

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures


The pool at Seatack Recreation Center will be closed for renovations until late November. 


The pool at Princess Anne Recreation Center will be closed for maintenance through October 2.

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.