B.L.A.S.T. Program Begins February 4

January 3, 2007

Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Swimming Pool

Get Set to Get Wet! The City of Madison Parks Division is pleased to announce its BLAST program for lifeguard training at the Goodman Pool! The Beginner Lifeguard Aquatic Skills Training (B.L.A.S.T.) program will pair students up with swim mentors in an 8-week long program. Students are being actively recruited from all over the city to be employed at Goodman Pool.

The B.L.A.S.T. program works to strengthen swimming skills and develop abilities a lifeguard will need. Participants do not need previous lifeguard experience but some swimming skills are required. The goal of the program is that upon completion, participants will be ready to meet the requirements for the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training program. Participants who in turn complete the American Red Cross Lifeguard Training will be eligible to apply for Goodman Pool summer lifeguard positions.

Each participant in the B.L.A.S.T. program is expected to attend all of the program sessions or until participants can demonstrate the basic swimming and aquatic skills needed to enroll in the Lifeguard Training. Don't forget a suit and towel!

Until June 2006, Madison was without a community pool. Most of Madison's youth did not have the exposure to a pool setting and have not had enough swimming experience to be a lifeguard. B.L.A.S.T. gives a boost to those in the community who may not be able to afford swimming lessons or be part of a swim team. The goal of the program is to train underrepresented swimmers to be lifeguards with the intention of working at Goodman Pool. "With the opening of the pool last summer, more families and young adults have had access to swimming, as well as to employment opportunities," said Jim Morgan, Parks Superintendent, "B.L.A.S.T. will put kids on the right path to becoming a lifeguard."

BLAST basics:
• Program begins Sunday, February 4, 2007
• The program is free of cost.
• Dates of Program: B.L.A.S.T. Swimming Training: February 4, 11, 18, 25 and March 4, 11, 18, and 25 beginning at 7:00 PM
• Applicants must be 16 years of age or older by June 1, hard working, and enthusiastic! Minorities and bilingual speakers are encouraged to join!
• B.L.A.S.T. is at the Lussier West YMCA: 5515 Medical Circle. Bus transportation is available free of charge.
• To enroll in this program, or for more information, please call the Parks Division at 266-4711.

Contact:
  • Taylar Foster, 266-4711
  • Laura Whitmore, 266-4711