Teton Valley Aquatics keeps your head above water during a busy summer.
In organizing free swimming lessons in Driggs City Park, TVA had to be inventive in designing the program for this summer.
“We decided in January that Teton Valley Aquatics was going to try and do this portable pool program, which we saw a bunch of places,” said Stacy Stamm, managing director of TVA.
The Portable Pool Program has done a good job filling the need for a place to hold classes, in an area with none.
“Nobody offers swimming lessons, Targhee does not offer swimming lessons, Teton Springs does not offer swimming lessons, there are no swimming lessons in the valley,” Stamm said. “We thought it was really important to offer this from our perspective. What we are looking for is simply to have more children in the water, more active people in the aquatic field.
Swimming lessons can fill a very important need for young children, who are at increased risk of drowning. The safety of knowing how to swim can mean the difference between life and death.
“Fortunately, no child drowned here, but just five years ago a child drowned in an irrigation ditch near Boise,” Stamm said. “It’s really important to get the kids to learn safety skills at least until we get a full size pool. “
Apart from the safety skills offered by swimming lessons, it is also a great way for them to burn energy and exercise.
“There’s a lot of excitement when they show up,” Stamm said. “When they leave tired, it’s nice. I am happy that the parents brought them because it is clear that they need to have energy.
Stamm and his instructors also saw many children progressing in the pool.
“The girl right now that’s in the water, I was just talking to her instructor, she started out as a non-swimmer,” Stamm said. “Never taking classes at all, she’s now almost doing full races. “She is quite capable of swimming on her own which is super awesome to see that we get the kids out of that danger zone and they get into swimming.”
The pool was made possible through donations of funds or resources from Driggs, Community Foundation of Teton Valley, Holiday Propane, MD Nursery, The Reiser Family and Western Fence Inc. Although TVA is grateful to ‘have a swimming pool to practice the lessons, they still need a more dedicated facility. As with any process, there are hurdles to overcome, but TVA has seen progress on this front.
“We selected a site near the 5th Street skate park,” Stamm said. “This land is being donated to the town of Driggs, and we are just working on finalizing that donation, so no announcement has been made.”
Once the donation of the five-acre plot is complete, geothermal drilling will be required to assess the hot water requirements.
“A year-round installation is the end goal, but everything is crucial for geothermal energy,” Stamm said. “If we don’t get geothermal, we’ll probably start with a seasonal outdoor installation, just from a cost perspective. “
TVA is set to grow like Teton Valley, and has gained support from local government and city leaders.
“We will work successfully and grow with the community towards the year-round indoor facility,” Stamm said.