The National Recreation and Park Association plans to expand its aquatics coverage with a specialty education track at its conferences, beginning in 2017.
The organization made the announcement at its conference, held in St. Louis in October.
"Conference registration information showed that aquatics was one of the top job responsibilities of our attendees, and the sessions pertaining to aquatics were some of the most highly attended," said NRPA Educational Specialist Matt Cowan. “With so many aquatics professionals attending our conference, we believed it made perfect sense to include this track."
The program is expected to cover topics related to a range of issues, including technical, programming, revenue development, health, wellness and social equity. Pre-conference workshops covering aquatics will be available, along with the annual in-person network meeting. According to NRPA, the new track will make it possible to fill all five days of the conference with seminars, workshops and networking opportunities geared to aquatics.
Courses will yield attendees 1.0 to 1.1 aquatics continuing education units, qualified for use toward renewal of the organization's Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO), Certified Park and Recreational Professional (CPRP) and Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE) certifications.
In the last two years, the organization has trained 30 instructors for its AFO program, Cowan added.
The next conference takes place Sept. 26-28, 2017 in New Orleans. But planning for the aquatics track is beginning now. NRPA is accepting proposals from interested presenters between Oct. 21 and Nov. 18. To make a proposal, go to www.nrpa.org/proposals.