Scottsdale Aquatic Club expands opportunities, reach into southern demographic

A view of the excitement participants experience during local and national competition at the Scottsdale Aquatic Club. (Submitted photo)

The Scottsdale Aquatic Club is looking to bring new experiences to those who might not otherwise glean the sense of freedom one experiences when the launch from the block was just right.

The Scottsdale Aquatic Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to high-level instruction for competitive swimming where participants can hone their strokes in the water while developing leadership strategies and skills outside of the pool.

“As a team, we develop champions in the pool and in life by creating a positive environment that inspires the dreams of swimmers at all competitive levels,” said Scottsdale Aquatic Club Director of Operations Bob Platt.

“Basically, we are a year-round United States Swimming Team that offers programs for swimmers of all levels. We provide great instruction to all levels in a positive, encouraging environment, helping each swimmer become the best they are capable of both in the pool and in life.”

But that competitive instruction isn’t a piece of all household budgets.

The Scottsdale Charros, through the The Charro Foundation, provided the Aquatic Club with a $10,000 grant this past fiscal year to expand programs into the southern boundaries of the city of Scottsdale.

Members of the Scottsdale Aquatic Club who provide high-level swim instruction to participants of the club. (Submitted photo)

“The grant Scottsdale Aquatic Club received from the Charros was used to expand our organization into south Scottsdale in order to offer our program to those who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy a nationally recognized competitive swim team,” Mr. Platt said of the Charro grant program.

About 8 percent of Scottsdale’s population — 226,918 — lives beneath the federal poverty line, according to the 2010 Census. A gross annual income less than $23,350 for a family of four is the median poverty line in the 48 contiguous states, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mr. Platt points out swim instruction at the Aquatic Club is more than meets the eye.

“There is not another competitive swimming program at our level of competence in the city of Scottsdale,” he explained. “We teach young people life skills through swimming that will be beneficial to them as they grow; leadership, hard work, teamwork, commitment to a goal and working through challenges.”

Without the help of the Scottsdale Charros, Mr. Platt opines, the Aquatic Club could not be expanding its reach in Scottsdale and giving a new population the opportunity to be an elite swimmer.

For 56 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

“The Charros organization is outstanding,” Mr. Platt said.

“Because of their community involvement and financial support, they help to fill the gap for programs and organizations that might not otherwise exist. The Charros’ support to an organization such as Scottsdale Aquatic Club is vital to our mission of not turning any athlete away who wants to be involved with competitive swimming in the Scottsdale area.”

Annual tryouts are Saturday, Aug. 12 and are open to all at Cactus Park and Chaparral Aquatic Center, 7202 E. Cactus Road.

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