Ask an Expert: Roxane Rachocki on Aquatics Programming
You have questions, we have answers. This month we spoke with Roxane Rachocki, aquatics director for Onelife Fitness, about aquatics programming.
What are the advantages to a club having an indoor swimming pool?
RR: Water has healing powers physically, emotionally and mentally for members of all ages and fitness levels. Members with limited motion can have more freedom of movement, along with potentially easing some pain. Indoor pools give our elder members another area to exercise and stretch in a safe environment, while having social contact with their peers. An indoor pool provides triathletes with the third element of their workout and for some, the most difficult part of their training.
For me though, the most important reason to have a pool is for our youngest members. Starting to teach our youngest members how to be safe around and in the water, along with fostering swimming skills that will last a lifetime, is an important job I take very seriously. Introducing children to the water early and consistently can help prevent tragedies in and around water everywhere. Swimming is an activity easily enjoyed with your friends and family and the more a child knows about swimming, the safer they will be.
How can health clubs ensure they’re maximizing pool usage and encourage participation?
RR: Health clubs can ensure usage by having a clean, safe and friendly environment for their members, as well as developing a schedule that caters to the needs of all their members. It is just as important to provide time for families who want to have fun as it is to provide time for our members looking to include swimming into their workout routines. When planning the schedule, keeping in mind the needs of the many will help ensure the pool will be utilized.
Being willing to adapt as needed for school days out and summer time will also help when planning the pool schedule. Don’t forget to promote your aquatic programs in as many ways as you can. Offering free swim evaluations will help your members decide what class would be the best choice for them, and remembering to promote any early bird or alternative specials will help boost participation. Having positive and interactive team members participating in every way possible is a key asset to any company.
What are some of your most popular aquatic fitness classes?
RR: At my location we offer Aqua Fit water aerobics, group swim lessons and private swim lessons and training. Our Aqua Fit classes are popular due to the social aspect, as well as our friendly and knowledgeable staff. Our Aqua Fit staff have various backgrounds of training, with certifications such as H2O Basics, Strength&Stretch, Aqua Zumba and Aqua Tabata. Each member can find which instructor or class best suits their needs.
As for the swim lessons, all of my instructors have been trained in and maintain their Water Safety Instructor certification through the American Red Cross. Their training provides them with knowledge and a backed program to give them lots of support for themselves and our members. Our members benefit from having teachers with the proper knowledge and abilities to help them progress in whatever direction they need to go.