Thousands of aquatics professionals gathered last month
at several industry events.
More than 1,500 attended the World Waterpark Symposium,
held in San Antonio. The event marked the 30th anniversary
of the World Waterpark Association and included networking,
targeted education seminars and a trade show floor with
more than 200 exhibitors.
Park attendee numbers were up slightly over 2008 and
2009 with a strong showing from first-time attendees,
according to the WWA.
“This year’s show also provided a
unique opportunity to look back at how we’ve
developed as an association and an industry over the last
30 years,” said Rick Root, WWA president.
“Looking back reminds us how quickly the
waterpark business has evolved and illustrates the
ever-present need for education, training, professional
development, product innovation and support,” Root
added. “The WWA and our member network offer a
vast resource to this unique industry, allowing us to share
knowledge and experience and provide the necessary tools to
successfully manage future change, face new challenges and
This year’s sponsors included:
Platinum Sponsor – Proslide Technology Inc.
Gold Sponsors – American Locker Security
Systems, Aquatic Development Group Inc., Arch Chemicals
Inc., WWA Insurance by Haas & Wilkerson and
Whitewater West Industries Ltd.
Silver Sponsors – Convergence.net, Launch
Logic, Neuman Group/Neuman Pools Inc. and Van Stone
Bronze Sponsors – EBA Design,Engineered
Treatment Systems and Water Odyssey/Fountain People
At the same time, the seventh annual World Aquatic
Health Conference and Aquatic Physical Therapy Summit was
held in Colorado Springs, Colo. Attendees participated in
six symposia of 42 seminars that addressed topics including
the Model Aquatic Health Code, disinfection byproducts and
risk management. Visionary Science, Artful Application was
the conference theme; and keynotes and events helped
illustrate the link between aquatics and society, including
science, health, art, athletics, and socio-economic and
“The world does not care about pool chemicals,
filters, and such things. People care about their families
and their health. The conference spotlighted how each of us
can be remarkable in ways that relate to society’s
priorities,” explained Thomas M. Lachocki, Ph.D.,
CEO of the National Swimming Pool Foundation, founding
organizer of the WAHC.
Speakers included USA Swimming CEO Chuck Wielgus;
motivational speaker Byron Embry, known for his 100 mph
fastball, and Jeff Wiltse, associate professor of history,
University of Montana.
New this year was an aquatic art exhibition and
scientific poster session focusing on a broader canvas of
research. There were nine research poster sessions.
Attendees were able review the displayed research and speak
with the presenters, providing them with a better
understanding of the scientific advances in a more intimate
Also in October, 7,000 people gathered in Minneapolis to
participate in the National Recreation and Park
Association’s 2010 Congress & Exposition.
Attendees had access to hundreds of education sessions and
a trade show featuring more than 400 exhibitors. Other
highlights included a video message from first lady
Michelle Obama; NRPA’s annual “Leave It
Better” community service project, where
volunteers constructed a sawmill-themed playground on the
Minneapolis river front; and the 2010 5K for Parks and
Recreation, kicked off by Sunshine and O’Neal from
NBC’s The Biggest Loser Season 9.
Additionally, keynote speaker Dr. John Crompton,
distinguished professor at Texas A&M University, and
a team of researchers presented five newly released white
papers highlighting scientific evidence of the benefits
delivered by parks and recreation.
The papers provide evidence on the impact of parks and
recreation in reducing disease; turning the tide on carbon
emissions and global warming; building confidence in young
people and preventing crimes by and against them;
decreasing stress; and increasing overall emotional and
physical wellness. The information in the papers, some of
which has been quantified for the first time, supports
increased funding for parks and recreation.