Sometimes it takes awhile for things to sink in. Our
Dream Designs showcase is a case in point. This is the
fifth year we’ve featured the most innovative,
exciting projects in the industry and, as always, they
celebrate the best and brightest in aquatics. But for too
long, we have missed one of the key points of Dream
Designs: They are a team effort.
This year, we’ve remedied that oversight. With
each design, you’ll notice a box called
“Project Team.” This is our
acknowledgment and effort to say that while one firm
submitted the project, it had many contributors. That team
effort extends into our “Project
Supplier” box. Indeed, often it’s team
effort that produces the most spectacular results.
Of course, that truism can — and should
— be applied across the whole of aquatics. Sadly,
teamwork among industry professionals and groups is hard to
find. As one small example, consider competitive aquatics.
Any operator who manages swim meets knows that such events
often trigger RWI outbreaks. True, the bather load is part
of the reason.
But another cause is indifference, even ignorance, to
the causes of RWIs. Who hasn’t heard tales of swim
coaches forcing their athletes to compete even if they have
diarrhea? Michael Phelps himself admits to peeing in the
pool. I bring this up not to shame swim coaches or
athletes, but rather to illuminate what happens when
aquatics professionals don’t work as a team across
For too long, the aquatics industry has been fragmented
into competing special interests: competition, nonprofit,
private, public, beach and the like. Each of these groups
imagines, or tries to create, their own fiefdoms. At best,
it is indifference, or ignorance. At worst, it is avarice
But starting today, you have an opportunity to help
change this dynamic and begin creating a new kind of
teamwork in aquatics with our new social network Website
called AI Connect. You can join now at
Just as the name suggests, AI Connect is all about
making connections across industry disciplines and
interests. It’s also about giving a voice to the
many aquatics professionals who work in solitude, save for
the one conference or educational event their budgets allow
them to attend each year. For most, this is the only
opportunity to network and compare notes with peers. Thanks
to the magic of technology and the ease of social
networking, it no longer has to be that way.
So log onto our Web site. Take a few moments to become a
member and then start making it yours. Create groups that
you think would be interesting. Start forum discussions on
topics you think aquatics professionals should be
discussing. Blog about your opinions, ideas and pet peeves.
That’s what will make AI Connect more than just
I also hope you’ll share your ideas and
feedback about what you’d like to see on the site
that’s not there currently. We’ll do our
best to make sure it gets added, especially as it relates
to the ever-present need for clear, accurate education.
Together, we can create a true aquatics dream team.