By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: April 2013
Water Safety Instructor/Lifeguard Shelby Hellen and Aquatics Supervisor Jason Sauer teach little ones at a Learn-to-Swim class at the Sapulpa Aquatics Center.
If your children do not know how to swim, now is the time to jump in and enroll them in Sapulpa Aquatics Center’s summer classes! The Sapulpa Aquatic Center opens for the season soon and offers swimming lessons for a variety of ages and skill levels.
John Waytula, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sapulpa, says that since opening in 2010, the Sapulpa Aquatics Center has taught 930 children how to swim. “We go above and beyond teaching basic swimming skills by also focusing on safety,” he adds. “We teach the principles of swimming efficiency starting with a float, adding propulsion, and finishing with coordination of swim strokes. When children and adults are taught what to do in adverse water-related situations, they are less likely to panic.” The six water safety instructors on Sapulpa’s staff are highly trained, certified and eager to help swimmers learn and have fun at the same time.
Class sizes are limited to six per class so that everyone receives plenty of individual attention. The Aquatics Center will offer 100 Learn-to-Swim classes this summer in five two-week sessions. Parents may choose from six different skill levels, and five different time slots per session. Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Sapulpa’s popular parent and child class, is offered during each session. The class teaches parents a great deal about introducing children to the water, safety, and swimming skills for infants and toddlers ages 6 months to 36 months. Private lessons for adults and children are also available.
Learning to swim is a highly important skill to obtain. Did you know that Oklahoma leads the nation in per capita drowning for the past 10 years? According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2005 to 2009, for children ages 1 to 4 the leading cause of injury-related death was drowning. For children ages 5 to 14, motor vehicle-related injuries were the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death with drowning second.
The Sapulpa Parks staff is excited about their upcoming fourth season. Attendance has reached 112,788 over the past three years. In addition to offering lessons, the Sapulpa Aquatics Center will be open to the public seven days per week for recreational swimming all summer. Located at Liberty Park, 1400 E. Haskell St., the 405-bathing load capacity, 125,000-gallon pool features an attractive zero depth beach entry, designated areas for small children, lap lanes, railings for increased ADA accessibility, two large flume water slides, a smaller child slide, a trio bucket, a mushroom spray, and covered shade units, with trained and certified lifeguards always on duty. Liberty Park also features a half-mile lighted trail, tennis, sand volleyball, and basketball courts.
Summer lifeguard jobs are currently available, and applicants must be at least 16 years old and have successfully completed lifeguard certification.
One of the main goals of Sapulpa Parks is to encourage everyone in the community to live more active lifestyles, and swimming is one of the best exercises around. Not only is it excellent for burning calories, building muscle tone and strength, improving cardiovascular conditioning, and increasing flexibility, it is also great for people with physical limitations or joint problems such as knee and hip pain. “Swimming is a healthy lifetime activity for ages 1 to 101,” says John. The Sapulpa Aquatics Center offers lap swim three days a week, as well as Aqua Zumba classes twice a week. “Our Aqua Zumba classes are really popular. Everyone enjoys our instructor Samantha Copeland, who is very enthusiastic, fun and encouraging,” says John. Sapulpa Parks also offers a recreation swim team program, which meets two days per week.
The Sapulpa Aquatics Center is also available for private parties, birthday parties, family reunions and corporate events. Visit www.sapulpaparks.org for rates and more information.
Jason Sauer, aquatics supervisor, is thankful for the consistent support the Sapulpa Aquatics Center has received from the community. “We are thrilled by the participation of the citizens of Sapulpa and guests from surrounding areas, and feel it is truly a reflection of the skills and professionalism of our wonderful staff. We are very grateful to the community and would like to thank everyone for making the Sapulpa Aquatics Center a huge hit for the past three seasons. We’re very excited for continued success in our fourth season.”
The Sapulpa Aquatics Center’s 2013 summer season begins Saturday, May 25. It will be open seven days a week from noon to 6 p.m. (noon to 8 p.m. on Thursdays). Daily admission is $3.25 with children three and younger free. Season passes are available for individuals, families and lap swimming. Get a discount on season passes and swim lessons with the early bird rates now available through April 30. Children 9 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Concessions are available. No outside food or drinks are allowed.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.