Competitor AOAP Aquatic Professional of the Month

Competitor Aquatics Professional of the Month is a recurring AOAP feature shedding light on an Aquatics Professional who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Aquatics Professional of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one aquatic professional whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a manager who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite aquatics director wasn’t selected, feel free to submit their name and information below for future consideration (they must be a member of AOAP to be considered).

April 2024 Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month

Mindy Dodge

Senior Aquatics Director

Brooks Family YMCA, Charlottesvill, VA

 

She started in aquatics as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the age of 15. Spent her first 16 years in aquatics working for Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation before moving to Virginia. She has been with the YMCA since 2019. From the beginning she has strived to be a leader in aquatics. Mindy has a strong passion for staff and youth development, volunteer management, community partnerships and working with underserved populations.

 

Mindy leads her department with a sense of purpose, mission and vision by investing time and effort in developing others. She took a struggling aquatics department and turned it into a thriving robust department with a comprehensive and progressive swim program. She initiated safety around water programs with community partners and local non-profits. She also started a school based learn to swim with multiple school districts. She is always looking at the greater good of not only our pool but aquatics as a whole in Central Virginia.

 

In the past 12-months, under Mindy’s direction our aquatics department has serviced more than 1000 students with learn to swim and water safety programs. They have also help surrounding local community swimming pools by certifying 111 lifeguards, 30 swim coaches, and more than 100 community members and staff in first aid/CPR and AED. In 2023, we started offering babysitter’s training classes and certified 50 new babysitters.

 

Mindy loves educating others about water safety through swimming lessons and lifeguard certification courses. She recently received her LGIT and CPRIT certifications and is looking to train new lifeguards and CPR instructors. Mindy also loves sharing her passion with peers and has presented at both URPA and NRPA conferences.

 

Mindy’s favorite programs to run are 2nd grade learn to swim, 5th grade water safety, and Latino health swimming lessons. In the coming years, she hopes to grow the school based programs, start a water polo program and presenting at more conferences.

 

 

Nomination:

Mindy leads her team of two coordinators to provide intentional aquatic programming to our members and for the Charlottesville/Albemarle communities as a whole. In past year, Mindy has launched a new American Red Cross Babysitter Certification program that certified over 40 participants. In addition, she has executed contracts and programming for area school systems for a 2nd Grade Learn to Swim Program and a 5th Grade Safety Around Water Program for Louisa County Public Schools. These grant based programs have provided essential swim safety and basic swim lessons to all students in this school district (1000+ students). In addition, we are finalizing another 2nd Grade Learn to Swim Program for Charlottesville City School kids that will see us provide programming for another 360 students. Mindy has helped bridge the gap of swim programs for our Spanish speaking members by partnering with the Latino Health Initiative at UVA for additional grant based swim programming provide 80 community members with free swimming lesson each summer. Our Aquatics Program serves as the regional leader in training lifeguards with 111 lifeguards trained this past year. Of these lifeguards, we were only able to hire 10-15. The others trained with Mindy’s team then ventured out to Parks & Recreation Departments, local lakes/pools and other private swim clubs to ensure competent lifeguarding around water throughout our community. Mindy has made a significant impact not only at our YMCA but in our entire community. Her work throughout the year and especially this past month qualify her for the Aquatic Professional of the Month award.

 

About Competitor Swim

Since 1960, Competitor Swim® has been the leader in the production of racing lanes and other swim products for competitions around the world. Competitor lane lines have been used in countless NCAA Championships, as well as 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Molded and assembled using U.S. – made components, Competitor lane lines are durable, easy to set up and are sold through distributors and dealers worldwide.

Submit a name to be considered for the Competitor Aquatic Professional of the Month

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