Supplement Feature - February 2019
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Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping


Respondents from Ys were the most likely to offer most types of programming. They were more likely than those from other facility types to offer learn-to-swim programs, youth swim teams, programs for those with physical and developmental disabilities, aquatic aerobics, aqua-yoga and other balance programs, water walking, leisure swim time, lap swim time, aquatic therapy, water safety training, lifeguard training and birthday parties.

Respondents from schools were more likely than those from other facility types to provide adult swim teams, school swim teams, swim meets and competitions, and diving programs and teams.

Park respondents were more likely than those from other facility types to provide doggie dips and dive-in movies, and college respondents were the most likely to provide collegiate swim teams and water polo.

Nearly one-quarter (23.3 percent) of respondents said they had plans to add more programs at their facilities over the next three years. Respondents from Ys were the most likely to have such plans. Some 27.2 percent of Y respondents said they would be adding programs at their facilities in the next three years. They were followed by parks (26.8 percent), colleges (22.1 percent) and schools (22 percent). Only 9.6 percent of camp respondents and 8.8 percent of rec center respondents said they had such plans. (See Figure 18.)


The top 10 most commonly planned program additions include:

  1. Aqua-Yoga & Other Balance Programs (planned by 33.6 percent of those who will be adding programs)
  2. Dive-In Movies (33.2 percent)
  3. Programs for Those With Developmental Disabilities (26.2 percent)
  4. Programs for Those With Physical Disabilities (25.7 percent)
  5. Aquatic Aerobics (19.6 percent)
  6. Doggie Dips (19.2 percent)
  7. Water Walking (13.6 percent)
  8. Adult Swim Teams (12.6 percent)
  9. Aquatic Therapy (12.6 percent)
  10. Learn-to-Swim Programs (11.7 percent)

We asked the 83.3 percent of respondents who offer learn-to-swim programs some further questions about the audience they reach with their programs. As one might expect, learn-to-swim programs aimed at children are the most popular type of program, but there are plenty of other offerings, as well.

The vast majority (95.3 percent) of respondents who provide learn-to-swim programs are providing programs that reach children age 17 and younger. Another 70.4 percent offer programs for parents and babies or toddlers (such as mommy—or daddy—and me classes). Some 64.8 percent provide learn-to-swim programs for adults age 18 and older. More than one-third 36.1 percent are providing senior learn-to-swim programs. (See Figure 19.)