Feature Article - May 2008
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Always in Season

Transforming Single-Season Swimming Into Year-Round Fun

By Kate Bongiovanni



Closed Enclosures of a Different Kind

Want to learn how to swim year-round but need an environment focused entirely on teaching the moves and technique? Two business owners took community and client needs to capitalize on their businesses and built two such structures.

When Goldfish Swim School in Birmingham, Mich., opened in March 2006, it became the first indoor pool in Michigan dedicated entirely to swim instruction. Parents register their youngsters ages 6 months and up for year-round programming and can take advantage of two pools that are 4 feet deep, one for babies and one for older children and adults.

Other features at the school include: small class sizes, availability of perpetual lessons rather than sessions, pool temperatures kept at 90 degrees, and a water purification system that prevents skin from constantly smelling of chlorine.

For the Chicago Blue Dolphins, owner John Fitzpatrick always dreamed of creating a swim studio for instruction and training and saw his dream come true in July 2006. He took a small space and made it work for his needs, installing an endless swimming pool with dual-propulsion to have two swimmers learning simultaneously. Fitzpatrick also installed mirrors along the sides and bottom of the pool and on the ceiling so swimmers can watch themselves and correct stroke technique, as well as an underwater and above water video analysis system that can record and then play back to provide on-the-spot swim critique.

Fitzpatrick also provides additional lessons and clinics at pools throughout Chicago and in Lake Michigan in the summer, but the endless pool is unique to his teaching methods.

Learn more about the Goldfish Swim School at www.goldfishswimschool.com. For more details on the Chicago Blue Dolphins, visit www.chicagobluedolphins.com.