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Entries in Infant Swimming Resource (1)

Tuesday
May032016

Health Club Infant Swimming Program Boosts Revenue, Value

It’s quite a sight—something most people aren’t used to seeing. At the Hockessin Athletic Club (HAC), a 109,000-square-foot, family-oriented multipurpose club in Hockessin, DE, Aquatics Director Nadya Davis routinely places babies face down in the pool; parents watch from the deck with anticipation. Within seconds, each infant rolls onto its back to float and breathe, until Davis picks up the child, prompting cheers and smiles.

Unconventional as it may seem, the routine is part of the club’s carefully planned Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) Self-Rescue program, which provides survival swimming lessons for children ages six months to six years. Founded in 1966 by Dr. Harvey Barnett as a way to prevent pediatric drowning, ISR today has nearly 500 certified instructors in 16 countries who are focused on the organization’s defining mission: Not One More Child Drowns.

“We wanted to partner with ISR to further its objective, which ties in with our core value—that of community,” said Davis, who led the initiative to bring ISR to HAC. “We pride ourselves on raising awareness for various health, fitness, and charitable causes.”

As the first commercial health club—and IHRSA member—to have its staff trained to offer the ISR program, HAC has made a commitment to prevent drowning, the leading cause of accidental death for children under age four in the U.S.

Davis encouraged other IHRSA clubs to do the same. What better way, she said, is there for operators to demonstrate to their staff, their members, and their community that they deeply care about the health and well-being of others?

A Valuable Feeder Program

Since it began to offer ISR lessons four years ago, HAC has taught 250 children, even though the commitment to the program on the part of participants is intense. The youngsters attend 10-minute, one-on-one lessons five days a week for four to six weeks, at a cost of $21 per lesson. There’s also a one-time ISR national registration fee of $105 for an initial medical history review.

Upon completing the initial lessons, children can enroll in weekly maintenance lessons at HAC, and may also take an annual ISR refresher course to deal with changes in their cognitive and physical development.

HAC members and nonmembers are encouraged to take advantage of ISR, and some families travel for as long as two hours to attend the lessons. A number of local participating families have gone on to become members.

The successful program has become an integral part of the offerings of HAC’s extensive aquatics facility, which includes a 25-yard, four-lane indoor pool; a 25-yard, six-lane, heated outdoor pool (open year-round); a warm-water therapy pool; a zero-depth entry leisure pool; and a catch pool beneath a water slide.

“Children start ISR lessons in the six-months to three-year-old range, and then, typically, stay with their ISR instructor for maintenance lessons until they’re ready for stroke mechanics around age four or five,” Davis said. “The ISR program not only extends our revenue opportunity to younger children, but also feeds into our traditional private and group swim lessons.”

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