Ask an Expert on Running an Aquatics Facility
You have questions, we have answers. This month we spoke with Ivan Kavoleff, an aquatics director for Meridian Fitness & Wellness in Jackson, New Jersey, about running a stellar aquatic facility.
What makes Meridian’s pools stand out?
IK: Staffing is a huge part of what makes our aquatic centers successful. Our pools are maintained by highly skilled, certified professionals who are passionate about aquatics. They take great pride in their work and it is because of their dedication that our pools remain spotless and our members stay happy. In addition to our warm and friendly staff, our state-of-the-art junior Olympic pools are coupled with an oversized Jacuzzi and sauna.
How do you promote your pool so it’s utilized to the fullest extent?
IK: We cross promote our pool with group fitness classes, swim lessons for all ages (private and small group), personal training and open family swim. Our locations also have relationships with our on-site physical therapists that use the pool for their patients.
What aquatic program is the most popular?
IK: Our most popular program is swim lessons. We offer top-quality swim instruction for all age levels. Our swim instructors introduce swimming as a progressive system that allows swimmers to begin at an early age and develop their skills to become competitive swimmers. Our Aquasize program has also been hugely successful, at times putting our pools at max capacity.
What kind of cleaning system do you use?
IK: Our state-of-the-art system is chlorine based and provides the best quality sanitization, which allows us to maintain a crystal clear, sparkling pool. To stay consistent with health code regulations the chemical levels are computer-monitored and adjusted.
As an aquatics director, what’s a surprising challenge you’ve had to overcome?
IK: As a manager, you want to make your members happy, but unfortunately you can’t satisfy everyone 100 percent of the time. Some members want the pool warmer, some want it cooler and others are just fine with the way it is. I make listening to my members a priority as it allows me to run the aquatic center in a way that will benefit the majority of our members. I continue to work hard for the members and meet their needs the best I can because I know in my function as aquatics director I am changing people’s lives.