If you need a reminder of the extraordinary things
that ordinary folks can accomplish, look no further than Triangle
Aquatics Center. Five years ago, the citizens of Cary, N.C., were
frustrated by the lack of year-round aquatics facilities. Several
competitive swimmers and their parents, who are now board members,
took action when no government support came through. They raised
enough funds from other locals to make this state-of-the-art indoor
venue a reality.
Triangle was clearly designed with competition in mind. It features
a 50-meter pool, a training pool and spectator seating for 1,000.
But competition is only one goal of the facility, which also aims
to introduce the community to the fun and health benefits of
Today, the center is home to two USA year-round swim teams, who
bring in an average of 1,000 athletes plus family members per
event, and more than a dozen swim teams. In 2008, it hosted the
aquatics portion of the Special Olympic North Carolina Games. Based
on its own tracking, Triangle hosts more than 10,000 competitive
swimmers annually and brings in about one-third of its guests
through its Web site, one-third through friends and one-third from
a combination of competitions, fliers, brochures and media
Management initially planned to rent out pool space to swim
programs and aquatics instructors. But they quickly realized the
lack of aquatic space in the area meant there weren’t enough
formal swim programs and operators — so they decided to take
matters into their own hands. A program director was hired to
oversee 35 activities, including swim lessons for all ages, water
aerobics, water polo matches and parent-child swimming
Today, staff-organized classes in the training and warm-water pools
run concurrently alongside swim lessons, competitive swim training
and stroke improvement classes, led by contractors who rent pool space.
Aquatics Director Randy Roberts says overall membership has grown
since Triangle’s opening.
Since February 2008, the center also has certified 160 people as
part of its lifeguard training course. Future plans include adding
an indoor recreation pool and outdoor 50-meter competition pool.