Tell me about your SPLASH campaign?
What is the swim test?
Were there any challenges you encountered when you implemented this program?
The biggest challenge was the new height requirement and having an adult in the water with a child at any time. Parents had to be educated that parental supervision was required in the water even if their child could tip-toe on the bottom of the pool (still under the height of 54 inches.) It was a struggle for parents to understand that parental supervision from the deck was not acceptable. It took about two months for parents to finally get on board with our SPLASH campaign.
At the beginning of the campaign, we changed our wristband system which was used to identify paid entry into a wristband system to assist us in identifying the non-swimmers. An entry pass took the place of the paid entry wristband. For our wristband non-swimmer identification system; if the patron wears a green wristband, it means you’ve passed the swim test and you are permitted to go anywhere within the aquatic facility. If the patron wears a red wristband; this means you have not passed the swim test and must stay in the shallow end of the pool and you are taller than a height of 54 inches. This patron still has access to our recreational swim area where the water is chest-height or lower, and a parent is not required to be in the water and provide parental supervision. Any child without a wristband must have parental supervision and must within arm’s reach always.
How long did it take to develop the SPLASH campaign before it was implemented?
In October 2014, we met as a 10-person board and identified there was the need for the SPLASH program. We sent our ideas to CNIC, in which they took over and did the initial draft of the campaign. The draft was sent to the board and we vetted the material, giving comment on what worked, what was practical when it came to implementation. CNIC took our comments and suggestions and developed the final material we have now, which was implemented at all the Naval installation on Memorial Day of 2015.
What were the immediate benefits you saw with the implementation of the program?
What advice would you give to another aquatic professional if he/she wanted to start a similar program?
Be excited about. Successful implementation requires having all your staff on board. You’ll need to champion of what the benefits are rather the differences.