June 24, 2011
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
The Broward County Boys & Girls Club in Fort Lauderdale and swimming superstar Michael Phelps have something in common.
The Michael Phelps Foundation announced the expansion of its signature IM program through Boys & Girls Clubs of America, now making it available to sixteen clubs across fourteen states this summer.
Fort Lauderdale was one of six cities where the pilot program was successfully launched in 2010.
The IM program was developed in partnership with KidsHealth.org and the Michael Phelps Swim School. It offers water safety lessons, recreational aquatic activities, health and wellness and goal-setting instruction.
The program is based on the same basic techniques and principles that Michael Phelps has implemented throughout his swimming career.
The Michael Phelps Foundation developed the IM program to promote the sport of swimming and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle especially among children.
It was designed in 2009 and launched in 2010. The IM program is named in recognition of Phelps’ signature event, the Individual Medley and as an abbreviation to the self-affirming “I am.”
It consists of five separate areas of focus: IM Bubbles, IMsafe, water safety instruction; IMfun, recreational aquatic activities; IMfast, structured and organized swimming; IM healthy, health and wellness; and IMsuccessful, goal-setting education.
Participants earn medals as they advance through the curriculum with the opportunity to earn eight medals upon completion of the entire program. Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“I was first introduced to the sport of swimming through water safety,” Phelps said. “I hated to get my face wet so I began to learn how to swim on my back, but with proper instruction I learned to be comfortable and confident in the water. My passion for swimming grew with each visit to the pool.”
In addition to developing the IM program, the Michael Phelps Foundation provides each club with financial support to assist with overall program costs including staffing, training, supplies and equipment, pool access and maintenance, and administrative expenses as well as official IM posters, medals, member handbook and assorted prizes.
In addition to Fort Lauderdale, the program is also in Baltimore, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Toledo, Ohio, Portland, Maine, Bronx, N.Y., Hulburt, Fla., Knoxville, Pasco, Wash., Milford, Nacogdoches, Tex., Pryor, Okla., Taunton, Mass., Omaha and Little Rock.
Trials Tickets Go On Sale Saturday
Tickets to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials go on sale at 12 noon a.m. on Saturday, one year out from the biggest U.S. swim meet of the quadrenium.
Tickets are available through any Ticketmaster outlet including Ticketmaster.com. Visa, an Olympic sponsor, is the only credit card USA Swimming is accepting.
Only all-session tickets for the June 25-July 2 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. will be available for purchase on Saturday.
Ticket prices are $525, $425 or $325 for the fifteen sessions, which include seven prelims and eight finals.
An added addition this year is 140 fans will enjoy the view of a lifetime through a limited number of 1,000 tickets, which each offer a seat directly on the pool deck.
More than 1,200 swimmers are expected to compete in Omaha including several from South Florida Aquatic Club including five-time Olympian Dara Torres, who has already qualified in he 50-meter freestyle, her signature event.
A record 160,000 people attended the 2008 trials in Omaha. Organizers expect ticket demand to be much higher for 2012. For more information, go to usaswimming.org/trials.
Subirats Suspended For One Year
Venezuelan swimmer Albert Subirats was suspended for one year for failing to notify FINA’s anti-doping authorities of his whereabouts three times within eighteen months.
Subirats has 21 days to appeal the decision by the sport’s international governing body.
Subirats won the 50-meter butterfly in a meet record at the world short course championships in Dubai last year.
If the suspension stands, Subirats will miss both next month’s world championships and Pan American Games later this year.
Runner’s Depot Hosts Ask The Expert Series On Saturday
Runner’s Depot in Davie will host its “Ask The Expert Series” on Saturday from 12 noon until 4 p.m.
The free informational session is offered each Saturday at one of the Runner’s Depot Stores. Medical professionals are invited for questions regarding running and general fitness injuries and prevention.
On Saturday, Dr. Jeffrey Berard, clinical director for the Spine & Sport Rehab Institute in Plantation will be the guest expert at the Runner’s Depot store in Davie, located at 2233 S. University Drive. Those interested are invited to stop by any time between noon and 4 p.m. to meet this week’s expert who is also a triathlete, marathon runner and cyclist. For more information call 954-474-4074.
Diving Nationals To Be Televised On NBC Sports
NBC Sports and Universal Sports will broadcast the 2011 AT&T National Diving Championships.
The broadcast will feature six hours of live television coverage of the championships which will be held Aug. 9-14 in Los Angeles.
Three hours of live coverage will air on both Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14.
Several local divers will compete including University of Miami alum Brittany Viola.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com