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Aquatics Newsletter | December 2013 |
Local Swimmers Ask for Your Pledge
Each year Winter Swim League participates in the American Red Cross Swim On for Safety fundraiser. The event raises funds for health and safety training programs, including water safety (the Learn to Swim program), CPR, First Aid and HIV/Aids awareness programs. Some of the specific programs in Hampton Roads that benefit from the S.O.S. fundraiser are Mary Helen Thomas Learn to Swim Day, April Pools Day, Beach Safety Family Expo, and the Really Awesome People Swimming, or R.A.P.S., program. Each of these programs offers a combination of water safety and swimming skills to community members at no cost. In an area surrounded by water, these programs help deliver the water safety message across the entire community.

Winter Swim League swimmers from all six teams, Bayside Marlins, Bow Creek Barracudas, Great Neck Gators, Kempsville Stingrays, Princess Anne Piranhas and Seatack Sharks, can participate in this fund-raising event by collecting donations or pledges based on the number of laps they complete. The swimming event is scheduled for the week of January 13. During team practice that week, coaches will track the distance swum for the swimmers. In addition to helping to raise funds for a great cause, swimmers who raise at least $25 will earn a water safety goodie bag. As an added incentive, local businesses chip in gift certificates for the top 10 fundraisers.

So, if you are a family member, friend or neighbor of one of our swimmers, please consider sponsoring their swim during S.O.S. week. If you don't know anyone on the team but are still interested in helping, please contact your nearest recreation center's aquatic office. 
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Upcoming Events

12/20 | Movie in the Pool |
Great Neck


12/22 | Float-a-Rama |
Winter Catalog Now Available Online


Colder weather and shorter days leaving you with a case of the winter blues? Improve your mood by staying physically active with registered classes like Adult Swim Workout, and drop-in group fitness classes like Deep Water Cardio & Core, and Aqua Muscles & Moves. Our popular water polo and dive leagues are sure to keep the kids moving as well.


Our Winter Programs & Activities Catalog is now online and the printed catalog will be available later this month. Online and in-person registration is open, so get started on planning an active winter!

Lighting Up the Town 


The City of Virginia Beach ushered in the holiday season with a parade at Town Center on Saturday, November 23. City organizations and private businesses partnered together to bring the event to life. Representing Parks and Recreation, members from Aquatics, Out-of-School Time and Therapeutic Recreation Programs helped parade-goers Experience the Fun!

Lifeguards Nicole De Cristoforo and Brittany Waltz from Kempsville, Sally Pryor from Bayside, Katie Eberwein from Princess Anne, and Alexandra Fortner from Williams Farm donned their lifesaving gear and rescue tubes along with Junior Lifeguards Allison Fortner and Jessica Hall from Kempsville. Aquatics Supervisors Jill Fortner (Kempsville) and Josh Waltz (Great Neck), and Aquatics/TR Coordinator Teri Dalone also joined the merry march through the streets. Aquatics mascot, Tubeman, accompanied staff to the joy of children along the parade route - getting lots of cheers, waves, and of course photo op requests.

Embracing the theme, Light up the Town, the group was definitely bright and colorful with lights on the rescue tubes and glowing jewelry. At the end of the night, the businesses of Town Center were brilliantly lit, and the tree in the center of the plaza soared with twinkling lights to the delight of all. 

Provide Feedback on Kempsville Rec Center Replacement

Kempsville Recreation Center opened in 1977 as Virginia Beach's first community recreation center. Though it's the city's oldest recreation center, it remains one of the busiest. 

The center is much loved, but it's over 35 years old and a 2009 facility assessment rated the overall condition of the facility as "poor." Improvements are needed for accessibility and ADA compliance, and the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems are nearing the end of their lifecycles. The existing pool and associated infrastructure have a remaining lifespan of 10-12 years. 

After evaluating potential cost savings and lifecycle costs associated with retaining the existing pool and other portions of the facility, a consultant and city staff recommended demolishing the structure and constructing an entirely new building. Draft concept plans for the new facility feature an indoor track, double gymnasium, fitness areas, indoor pool with lap lanes and water play components, outdoor sprayground and therapeutic recreation program space. 

We want your input on the draft concept plan. You can provide feedback online with Virtual Town Hall through January 3 at   

For more information on the Kempsville Recreation Center replacement project, including the draft concept plan and construction timeline, visit 
Inspiring the Next Generation of Swimmers
Winter Swim League is an exciting experience for young swimmers who are developing their stroke technique and learning what swimming competition is all about. Some swimmers are so fond of the program that after they've outgrown the league, they've come back to it as coaches.  Meet two former swim league participants who are now among the coaching ranks.

Nathan Mizner Nathan Mizner swam for the Princess Anne Piranhas for two years and Kempsville Stingrays for four years. One thing he remembers his coaches telling him is that no matter how nervous you feel before a race, it will go away the second you hit the water. Good advice for the swimmer who later went on to swim for Green Run High School. With high school behind him, Nathan jumped at the opportunity to come back to Winter Swim League as a coach. This year marks his second season coaching the Seatack Sharks. He finds coaching his old league to be very rewarding because he's teaching swimmers new things that they will be able to carry with them for years to come. Nathan hopes to help make swimming as big a part of their lives as it has been in his own. The advice he gives his swimmers is "there's always room for improvement." 
Travis Rider swam for the Princess Anne Piranhas for three years starting at age 9. He was inspired by his coaches who told him, "Always push yourself. You never get better by taking it easy." As he grew stronger in the sport, he went on to swim for Ocean Lakes High School. After finishing high school, Travis wanted to pass on his love for the sport and teach a new generation of swimmers the skills he learned for success over the years. And so he has, for five seasons coaching the Great Neck Gators. One thing he didn't count on was how much coaching would give back to him. According to Travis, the most rewarding part of coaching the kids is seeing how excited they get when they use the skills he's taught them to improve their strokes and speed. The advice he gives his swimmers is this: "swimming is 90% technique and 10% effort."
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Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures


Bow Creek Recreation Center is closed for a long-term modernization project
All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center, administrative offices, staffed parks & park facilities will close at noon on Tuesday, December 24 and remain closed on Wednesday, December 25 for Christmas. All facilities will also close at 5 pm on Tuesday, December 31 and remain closed on Wednesday, January 1 for New Year's. 


All Virginia Beach Recreation Centers, Owl Creek Tennis Center, administrative offices, staffed parks & park facilities will be closed on Monday, January 20 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, 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 requires 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.