Feature Article - January 2007
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Beyond the Lap Lane

Get more people in the pool with fresh aquatic programming for adults

By Stacy St. Clair

Luring Patrons / Marketing Techniques

So, you've taken the initiative to boost aquatic programming. That's the first step.

Now you have to find a way to attract patrons. While the classes themselves will lure participants, pool managers also must make the effort to promote the benefits. Here are some talking points to help market aquatic offerings:

Target baby boomers. As people get older, their hips and knees become more fragile. Trumpet your aquatic classes as the ideal fitness option for aging—but still active—bodies.

Dispel myths. Fitness die-hards often scoff at aquatic exercise because they don't believe it provides enough of a workout. Kill those misconceptions with educational materials showing the benefits of resistance training in water. Be sure to point out that aquatic programs provide a viable cross-training option.

Promote time management. Most patrons struggle to find time to fit in both their cardio and strength training workouts. Aquatic classes offer the best of both worlds.

Court special populations. One of the greatest benefits of aquatic exercise is that it provides fitness opportunities to people who otherwise might not have them. Make an effort to inform seniors, pregnant women and arthritic patrons about your programs. Reach out to local fibromyalgia and chronic-fatigue support groups to share information about your class schedule.

Tap the landlocked. For every person who takes a traditional yoga class, there's a patron who's too scared to try. Promote your water yoga and Pilates classes as a mind-body option for people who don't have the flexibility or courage to try the moves on land.