Minority participation in aquatics traditionally has been challenging, but Jim Wheeler works to spread the fun of aquatics to all served by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.

“The employees of the department’s aquatics division have always had a strong sense of inclusivity for all members of the community who utilize the nine public pools,” he says.

That includes getting the Martin Luther King Jr. Pool certified to host USA Swimming meets to cut the cost of having the MLK Jr. Blue Dolphins Swim Team travel to meets.

A Swim Club program provides 250 children from five after-school programs with 10 weeks of free swim lessons. The department also hosts waterfront programs, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and sailing.