By Gabrielle Chevalier, Chattanooga, TN—ARC officials say students are increasingly using the new Aquatic and Recreation Center’s pool facility and attribute the rise in student interest to new activities and a freshman class more knowledgeable about the perks of the pool.
Anna Forkum, coordinator of aquatic programming, said because this year’s freshman class was the first to tour the completed pool area before coming to UTC, they are more aware of what it has to offer.
“I’ve seen a lot of increase with our patron numbers this semester with the new freshman class coming in and it has been great, she said. “We’ve had a lot more people at the pool so it is great to see it be used. The older classes— they saw the construction of it but they didn’t see it fully finished, so I think they just forget about it sometimes.”
This year, Forkum said the pool has incorporated three intramural activities, two of which have already taken place: the tube-a-derby and a pool relay race. The third activity, the swim meet, will happen in November.
One of the most popular events at the pool continues to be the movie nights, Forkum said. The next movie, which will be shown Oct. 28, will be Halloween-themed.
The ARC also began offering Aquatic Zumba, which is not something offered many places, Forkum said.
Students who want to learn to swim or improve their swimming abilities can also come practice at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and Monday through Thursday at 10 a.m. with the University’s swim lesson and skill improvement program.
“That has been very big,” Forkum said. “We have a lot of people who come regularly to learn to swim or improve their skills, it is for people who know how to swim too.”
The program is taught by a certified instructor on staff, and is offered at no cost to students.
“They will get in the water with you to help, and it is free so it is a really great opportunity,” she said.
Lindsey Beard, a Memphis junior, said that while she uses the ARC fitness center for exercise, she has not actually used the pool facility.
“It definitely would have been more exciting if I were a freshman and it were there,” she said.
Forkum said she is always looking for new ideas for events to host for students, or suggestions for movie night events.
To suggest an idea, contact Forkum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The students are the ones I want to choose, because they are the ones who are coming,” she said.