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Aquatics Newsletter | January 2013 |
A Participant's Perspective: Dive League


Much to the surprise of her family, Mary Catherine Warner decided she wanted to participate in our Youth Dive League last year. Already a swimmer, she was looking to try something new. With the help of her experienced coaches, Mary Catherine said she felt safe to experiment and try new things. Over the course of the season, she was able to perform a front somersault and even braved the back fall-in.


When asked how she felt about last season's Dive League, Mary Catherine noted that it helped build her confidence. This was apparent to her summer league swim coaches when she was able to correctly perform a forward start off the starting block, a skill they tirelessly worked on the previous summer to no avail. Mary Catherine's mom was also impressed with what good shape she was in by the end of the season. She didn't expect there to be as much physical exercise and stretching as there was, but the improvement in Mary Catherine's flexibility showed in her dance class. In addition to building her skills and confidence, Mary Catherine enjoyed making new friends during practice and having fun. Her goal for this year is to learn and master a back somersault. 


When asked if they would recommend this program to a friend, the answer was a resounding YES! Mary Catherine urges others to try it because she believes they will love it as much as she does. Her mom asserts it is amazing to see the difference in the children's ability from day one to the end of the season.


Registration for Dive League is open to kids ages 7-15; sign up today!

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Swim Tip: Flutter Kick


While performing the flutter kick, it's okay to have some bend in your knee, just not more than 20 degrees. It allows you to create a whipping motion with your kick that will add more thrust overall. In addition, ensure you keep your ankles loose and they will naturally add more to your kick.

Outstanding Lifeguards of the Season

Each season, the Aquatic Unit weighs the accolades and accomplishments of each lifeguard to select the Outstanding Lifeguard of the Season. The qualifying criteria include being a proactive lifeguard, going above and beyond the call of duty, providing excellent customer service, excelling in training and drill scenarios, successfully performing rescues, working a flexible schedule and substituting for others when needed, performing regular maintenance tasks without being prompted and maintaining excellent physical fitness. Each of the six sites made selections; meet three now and stay tuned to meet the remaining three in February.


For Kelly Cummings, Outstanding Lifeguard for Princess Anne, being a lifeguard means making sure everyone is safe while they enjoy swimming in our facilities. Being around water is nothing new to Kelly; she took lessons as a toddler at the rec center and grew up swimming. In high school, she swam and dove competitively and has incorporated her love of the water into her jobs. Over the past seven years, Kelly has served as a lifeguard, water safety instructor, competitive swimming coach and competitive diving coach. One of her keenest memories on the job is her response to a rescue. She recalls, "my training and preparedness make this possible!" Having the proper skills and confidence are crucial aspects of being an effective lifeguard.


Ryan Ryan Solar, Outstanding Lifeguard for Great Neck, finds lifeguarding is very rewarding when you know that you've helped another person. His skills were recently put to the test when he was involved in a rescue situation. He admits that the intensity of the moment is difficult to describe, but having the ability to save someone's life is both thrilling and humbling. Ryan credits the flawless orchestration of the rescuers involved to the amount of skills training performed each month. "It was just like a drill; I was comfortable with my skills and knew exactly what to do." Being part of a team operating with the same motivation and intention to protect and save lives really moves Ryan. In fact, lifeguarding has inspired his career aspiration of joining the United States Coast Guard as a rescue swimmer. 



Nate Rodgers, Outstanding Lifeguard for Seatack, finds lifeguarding is most rewarding when he's able to perform rescues. Though he hopes he never encounters any life-threating emergencies, he finds value in training and being prepared for one. Nate is a skilled swimmer who takes pride in maintaining his fitness level and swimming skills. He is currently a member of the Kellam High School swim team and enjoys the competitive aspect of being on the team. Nate's hard work, great attitude and desire to excel at his job are some of the reasons why he was chosen as Seatack's Outstanding Lifeguard.

Beware of Thin Ice!


Frozen LakeWinter weather conditions may lead to ice formation on many area ponds and lakes. 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 an inch thick just a few yards away. Ice thickness in our area will not support the weight of any person, even a small child.  


What if someone falls through and you are the only one around to help? First, call 911 for help. There is a good chance someone near you may be carrying a cell phone. Resist the urge to run up to the edge of the hole. This would most likely result in two victims in the water. Also, do not risk your life to attempt to save a pet or other animal.  Instead, try to encourage the victim to fight and reassure them that help is on the way. Extend a rope, ladder or even jumper cables to the victim. Let go if you think you might be pulled in; you can always start over. If you are able to get a rope out to them, have them tie the rope around themselves.  

If you want to go onto the ice, then visit your local ice skating rink. Be safe and spread the word.

Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures


Bow Creek Recreation Center is closed for a long-term modernization project. Expected re-opening is Fall 2014. 
All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center, administrative offices, staffed parks & park facilities will be closed on Monday, January 21 for Martin Luther King Day.

Don't forget that your membership is good at all 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.