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Entries in swimming (5)


7 Ways Former U.S. Presidents Stayed In Shape and Managed Stress

This post was originally published in the IHRSA Advocate.

Becoming leader of the United Statesand the free worldis a stressful, demanding job. But that doesn’t stand in the way of most presidents’ ability to stay active and maintain their fitness levels.

And while a lot has changed since George Washington was elected in 1789, the theme of active presidents has not. Enjoy the seven most popularand interestingways presidents have stayed active since "Yankee Doodle" was a number one hit.

1. Golf

Golf is by and large the sport most often enjoyed by United States presidents. The first president to hit the links was William Howard Taft (1909-1913). Nearly every president from Taft to the current incumbent Barack Obama, save Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, were known to duck out of the Oval Office for a few rounds of golf.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

2. Swimming

The first president to start swimming was John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), who regularly swam laps in the Potomac. While Franklin Roosevelt couldn’t walk due to polio, he could swim and did so several times a week while in office.

In 1975, avid swimmer Gerald Ford added a swimming pool to the White House grounds. President Reaganthe last known swimming aficionado in the Oval Office, grew up swimming and was reported to have saved 77 people during his youthful tenure as a lifeguard in Illinois.

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Olympian Gustavo Borges on the Future of the Brazilian Fitness Industry

Gustavo Borges, Olympian, entrepreneur, and IHRSA board member, told Club Business International about the opportunities and challenges facing the Brazilian fitness industry. 

Borges is a former competitive swimmer turned entrepreneur. He swam for Brazil in the Summer Olympic Games in 1992 (one medal), 1996 (two medals), 2000 (one medal), and 2004; and also competed in the World Championships and the Pan American Games (eight medals).

At one point, Borges held the world record in the 100-meter freestyle (short course). He currently lives in São Paulo, where he runs his own swimming school, Academia Gustavo Borges, which has four locations in Brazil. 

CBI: First of all, congratulations! You were recently elected president of ACAD Brasil, the Brazilian health club association. Please tell us about that organization and what it does.

Gustavo Borges: ACAD Brasil represents our industry in the same way that IHRSA does, both in the U.S. and the international market. In Brazil, every day there are important public policy issues that need to be addressed, as there are in all countries of the world. New laws that could interfere with our market always require attention, especially in a country as unstable as Brazil.

Our major focus, now, is to grow the organization in terms of numbers and representation all over the country, which means that we need the participation of all the major players, as well as the small operators, in order to produce great results.

CBI: We understand that you also serve as a member of the Brazilian Olympic Committee. What sort of involvement did you have in last month’s Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro?

GB: I was a member of the committee’s athlete’s commission, but had no real role in the games. The commission’s role was to help the Olympic Committee with regards to the needs of the athletes. My main participation in the games involved supplying the Olympic-size pools that were needed. I’m a representative for Myrtha Pools, an Italian company, which offers a specialized solution based on stainless steel. Together with a partner company, we provided all of the pools for the Rio 2016 Games.

In addition to that, I served as a commentator for the swimming events.

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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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Sport & Health Introduces Masters Swimming

Sport & Health, which owns and operates 23 full-service health clubs and day spas
 in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., has announced that it will soon offer Masters Swimming programs at 14 of its locations, in partnership with
 U.S. Masters Swimming. (See “Helping Seniors ‘Master’ Sports,” October CBI, pg. 42).

Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. Masters Swimming is a member-run, national governing body that promotes health, wellness, fitness, and competition via swimming for adults age 18 and over, by partnering with more than 1,500 adult swim programs in the U.S.

Programs will be offered at Sport & Health’s Bethesda, Brambleton, Crystal Park, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, Lakeforest, North Frederick, Regency, Rio, Skyline, Tenley, Tysons, Woodbridge, and Worldgate clubs.

Each location will have a coach-instructor who has completed Levels 1 and 2 of the U.S. Masters Swimming Coach Certification Program.

"We've had adult swimming programs at several locations
 for some time,” says Tamara Yaunches, the corporate
 director of aquatics for the chain. “However, it was time 
to standardize our offering as
an official USMS program and launch it across all our clubs.


Teach someone to swim, break a record in the process

The World Waterpark Association is attempting to break a record - and this is one that can benefit those of all ages, health-wise, and not just be an accomplishment to put on the mantel.

The World's Largest Swimming Lesson event is June 20. The Guinness World Record was set last year with 32,450 simultaneous lessons, in 432 facilities in 13 countries. The event was first hosted in 2010 as a way to promote the importance of swimming for health and safety from drowning.

This year IHRSA has signed on as an official promoter of the event.

For more and to register your facility to take part, visit