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Aquatics Newsletter | January 2014 |
Big Fins to Fill - Farewell, Janis!


We bid farewell to Janis Sweeney on January 1st when she retired from her position as Recreation Supervisor for Princess Anne and Seatack Recreation Centers. 


Over the course of her 21 years in the Aquatics Unit, Janis saw some major growth in the department, including the opening of four new recreation centers: Bayside, Princess Anne, Seatack and Williams Farm. During that time, she worked closely with the American Red Cross, EMS and the Virginia Beach community to provide the safest and most enjoyable swimming environment the city could offer. 


Janis was recognized by the Virginia Association of High School Athletic Directors for her efforts to build a strong collaboration between Parks & Recreation and Virginia Beach Schools so the sports of competitive swimming and diving may thrive in high school. She served as coordinator for the AAA State Swimming and Diving Competition for five years. In addition, she served two years as the co-chair of the Virginia Senior Games, an Olympic-style games for senior citizens.

Janis' hard work, dedication and influence on the unit and the department will leave a lasting impact, and she will be greatly missed. 
From everyone in Parks and Recreation, we send warm wishes for a happy and relaxing retirement!

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Upcoming Events

2/9 | Float-a-Rama | Great Neck


2/14 | Movie in the Pool | Williams Farm
Swim Tip Video Clip: How to Use the Streamline Position

One of the simplest ways to increase efficiency and save energy in swimming is the use of the streamline position. The streamline is typically seen after a start or a turn when a swimmer holds his arms straight out in front of him, hand over hand, with the head between the arms. Legs should be straight with feet pointed so that the entire body is as straight as possible. Depending on the stroke, the swimmer may or may not be kicking. In this position, a swimmer is able to minimize the resistance of the water and travel faster than if swimming a stroke. Once the swimmer begins to lose momentum and slow down, he can then start his stroke. This is a technique used on every level of swimming, from beginners to Olympic swimmers. 
Check out our video clip to see the streamline in action! You'll notice two swimmers approaching the wall at roughly the same speed. When they turn, one swimmer uses a streamline and the other does not. You can see how much further the swimmer who did a streamline got before she had to start her stroke. In a 30-45 minute swim workout, the amount of energy saved can add up quickly!
Take the Plunge! Learning to Swim at Any Age 


Learning to swim is an important skill that many people accomplish early in their life; however, there are brave adults in every one of our recreation centers that are facing their fears head on and signing up to take adult lessons. 


At a recent class at Kempsville, Katherine was one of those first -time students. She was a non-swimmer and was very apprehensive about the class. From the first day, instructors Brittany and Lynelle were very patient and attentive to the needs of each student. Katherine progressed further every class and learned more than she imagined. She was able to swim front and back crawl by the end of the session and was even able to start to tread water. Katherine was so encouraged by her progress that she has signed up for the next session of adult lessons. 


Katherine's experience is just one example of the accomplishments that many adults are celebrating when they overcome their fears and hop into the pool for their first swim lesson. If you are ready to learn to swim, let us help you take the plunge! Adult Swimming classes are starting up in February and March at Great Neck, Kempsville and Williams Farm Recreation Centers. Register online via EZreg or in person at any recreation center

From Gymnast to Diver to Coach
Sophie Bateson first developed an interest in diving at age 12 while watching it on the Olympics. She had been involved in gymnastics and wanted to try something new, so our Youth Dive League was the perfect opportunity. Though she was feeling nervous about what to expect going into her first dive meet, she had the confidence to know she would do her best. As she progressed over the years, she loved the feeling of improving her dives and learning new ones. Sophie was so hooked on diving and the rush of competition that she went on to compete for Kellam High School.

Sophie's experience as a diver came full circle when she became a coach for Dive League at Great Neck Recreation Center. She says, "I was very excited to coach diving and use what I know to teach kids this sport. By the end of the season, I was very proud of how fast the kids progressed. They learned so many new dives and it was a great season." She advises future divers that, "You'll come to a moment in diving when you are scared to try a particular dive, but you have to summon the courage and try it. Mastering a new dive can take time, just try your best and remember to have fun!"

Our Youth Dive League is open for registration. Kids age 7-15 can learn the skills and compete in a fun, low-key environment. Participants must be deep water safe and able to dive off a diving board. The program begins in early March and runs through mid-May.
Please Note Our Upcoming Facility Closures


Bow Creek Recreation Center is closed for a long-term modernization project


The pool at Williams Farm Recreation Center will be closed on Monday, February 3 for preventative maintenance.  
The pool at Great Neck Recreation Center will be closed Monday, February 17 through Sunday, February 23 for the installation of accessible railing.   


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.