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
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
"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