Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The first tenant...

The first tenant of the new Bismarck Aquatic Center is .... (drum roll please) A NEW SWIM TEAM!!! The Bismarck Aquatics and Fitness organization has announced the official formation of "Aquastorm" - check out

The "Aquastorm" team is slated to consist of a youth swim team, Masters (that's old folk like myself) swimming, and a diving team. As new coach Loic Joseph alluded to, and I concur, there is a huge lack of participation in the sport of swimming in Bismarck partly due to the paucity of swimming lesson programs and advertisement to local youth.

I was a swimmer (for another ND city) as a youth, and we always wondered why Bismarck wasn't more of a powerhouse in swimming, considering the population is many times larger than other towns with competitive teams. There simply has not been a facility large enough to house the aquatic needs of Bismarck, and though the YMCA exists and houses their own swim team, there is just not enough room and pool time available to devote to developing a base of young swimmers. Back in the day (my day, that is) our team advertised once a year to all the local schools for swim team, we were managed and supported by the team parents, and we had a lesson "feeder" program, largely taught by older swim team members - somebody for the little ones to look up to!!!

That is why I am so excited for the future of Bismarck swimming - I mean, obviously not everybody wants to be on the swim team, but there has been no place to even take swimming lessons if you are not a Y member!!!

Just a quick rundown of the awesome things a new team and facility will bring:

- Swimming lessons available to the general public - with no "membership" necessary

- Swim instructors teaching not only water safety and basic swim skills, but working on strokes necessary to succeed on the swim team

- A feeder program for the local high school swim teams - future ND state champs, anyone?

- Diving team - the only non-school diving program I've seen in the state!

- Swim programs for school kids - possible aquatic programming for the high schools and older elementary kids

- Lap swimming - with this much pool space, there will finally be room here (and more room will thus be available at the Y) for fitness swimming

- Masters swimming - for us older folk (over 18) to have the opportunity for training and competition in swimming!

- BIG MEETS - I'm talking more than 500 swimmers and their families to some of these meets (i.e. Zones)

- Water polo and other aquatic opportunities

Of course the rest of the facility will be cool, too, but aquatic fitness is great for a lifetime!!!

The new team was mentioned last night and today in the local news:
New swim club in town (Bismarck Tribune)
and check out the Aquatic club on Facebook -