Facility Profile - April 2008
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A Huge Splash

Beaumont Centre Family YMCA in Lexington, Ky.

By Shay Bapple

"Many adults take swim lessons because they want to touch up their skills or are just learning to swim because they are getting over a fear that they could never face," Satterfield said. "It isn't unusual to find 50- or 60-year-old women learning to swim in the adult classes."

No stranger to the aquatics business, Satterfield started swimming competitively with teams when she was five years old, and continued to all the way through high school. She started working as a lifeguard and teaching swim lessons at 15 years old for the YMCA and with the Red Cross. Satterfield taught swimming in college at the University of Eastern Kentucky and worked as a graduate assistant in the aquatics department. Her first job out of college was working as the assistant swim coach at the University of Miami. After moving on to teaching at private fitness clubs, she eventually came back to the YMCA scene, teaching at the Lakeland, Fla., and Albany, Ga., branches before coming back to Kentucky. She follows in her mother's footsteps, a former aquatics director at the Henderson Kentucky YMCA branch.

As with all of the programs taught at YMCAs, the swim program incorporates the traditional Four Core Values in their lessons: honesty, respect, responsibility and caring. Also setting Beaumont's program apart from other swim lesson programs in the area is the intense, regular teaching of water safety in all classes. Swimmers are taught how to use lifejackets properly, as well as emergency response and beach and boat safety. Parents and children are also given safety packets when beginning lessons to help incorporate safety instruction taught during the lessons.

"We teach kids to know when to call for help and handle emergency situations," Satterfield said.

Recently, Beaumont also has begun encouraging students to stick with progressing through all levels of fitness and instruction with its new "Super Swimmer Program." Swimmers fill out a registration card, sign up for five sessions within a calendar year and receive a $10 discount on the fifth session. Students also receive a super swimmer program T-shirt during the fifth session. Satterfield said that the program has been successful, with over 400 kids joining thus far, with 60 percent of swimmers repeating lessons as of the end of 2007.

Satterfield also hopes to see an increase in younger students becoming interested in Beaumont's competitive swim team that travels for meets against other YMCA teams. Satterfield believes that growing interest and enrollment in the swimming lesson program can make it a feeder for the competitive team. Currently the swim team has 125 members and is the defending 2008 state champion.


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