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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI Aquatics named best in U.S.

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 20, 2000 -- The Aquatics Program in the University of Rhode Island's Office of Recreational Services was recently named the best aquatic program in the country for 1998-99 by the United States Water Fitness Association.

The program was recognized for having the best trained staff and the most comprehensive offering of aquatic lessons, courses, and activities in the nation. URI beat out aquatics programs from universities, fitness centers, medical centers, spas, YMCAs, country clubs, and community centers throughout the United States for the top ranking.

The program was first recognized in 1997 as the top university aquatic program in the nation. The program received top ranking again in 1998 and 1999.

"This honor doesn't mean we're the biggest," said URI Coordinator of Aquatics Ted Boyett, "but after considering all the attributes that an aquatic program should have, we're the best, thanks in large part to a great student staff and support staff."

Boyett, a Wakefield resident, said that most of the large aquatics programs in the country have a more narrow focus. "We've got a broad focus. If anyone wants to get into the water, we can help them do it."

The Aquatics Program offers a wide variety of activities for all members of the local community. Swimming classes are available for all ages and abilities, including competitive swimming. Springboard diving and water polo programs are offered, and many certfication classes are available, from basic first aid and life saving to pool operations.

"We're constantly looking to improve," Boyett said. "We're focusing now on providing more programs for individuals with disabilities, and we're beginning to better market our scuba program."

According to Boyett, one key to the program's success is training. "Our staff training materials are better than what most other institutions have, and we take more time to train. We provide staff training of one hour for every 40 hours of employment."

As a result, he said, "the University and the community like what we do and our programs are almost all filled to capacity."

For more information about the programs and activities offered by the URI Aquatics office, call Boyett at 874-4653.

For Information: Todd McLeish 874-7892


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