Aquatics Program Wins Best-in-Texas Award

The Georgetown Parks and Recreation Aquatics program won the Agency of the Year Award from the Texas Public Pool Council earlier this month. The award at the council’s annual meeting in San Antonio recognized Georgetown’s aquatics program as the best in the state among cities in the medium-sized category.

Kimberly, Stephanie TPPC banner-b-600Pictured with the award banner are Kimberly Garrett, parks and recreation director (left), and Stephanie Darimont, aquatics coordinator (right).

Georgetown Aquatics programs involved more than 2,000 participants in 344 different classes in 2013. Classes include water aerobics, basic swimming lessons, lifeguarding, a junior guard camp, a city swim team, and other American Red Cross classes. Other Aquatics offerings not included in those numbers are daily attendance for open swim and pool use from other groups such as the Aquadillos swim team and the swim teams from Gateway, Georgetown, and East View high schools.

Lifeguards in the Georgetown Aquatics program achieved a high level of distinction last year when they won second place in the statewide lifeguard competition. The Georgetown lifeguard team took fourth place in the 2012 statewide competition.

“I have the pleasure of working with a high-achieving, self-driven staff,” says Stephanie Darimont, aquatics coordinator. “The Aquatics staff is dedicated to serving their community and the continuous improvement of their lifeguard skills to keep the Georgetown swimming pools one of the safest places to swim.”

The Junior Guard Safety Camp is an innovative program that teaches pre-teens many aspects of lifeguarding such as swimming, water rescues, first aid, CPR, and patron surveillance. The camp also provides first aid and safety lessons that are valuable skills for pre-teens who are babysitting or taking care of siblings.

The Georgetown Aquatics program also makes swimming recreation available to all residents, regardless of their means. With support from the Friends of Georgetown Parks and Recreation, swimsuits and towels are available to those who need them.

City Lifeguards Place 2nd at State Competition

A team of four lifeguards – Kate Krause, Madi Smith, Aaron Duke and Hunter Boyd – represented the City of Georgetown as lifeguardsTeam Code Red Cross at the State Lifeguard Competition held in Corpus Christi on July 24. These individuals represented the City in a fantastic showing which garnered a second overall finish, coming in only behind Kerrville. Competition was tough as the City of Georgetown faced 12 strong teams from the Woodlands, Frisco, McKinney, Cedar Park, Conroe, Schlitterbahn and Summerland.

Teams competed in four different areas: CPR, First Aid, Spinal Scenario and a group scenario.

To get to the state competition the team had to qualify by placing 1st – 3rd overall  in one of the  four regional competitions. Regional competitions typically have anywhere from 12-35 teams compete.  The City of Georgetown Code Red Cross team came in 1st place overall at the Central Texas Lifeguard Competition held in New Braunfels on July 15 to earn their spot at the state competition.

Congratulations to these four individuals on a job well done!

Georgetown in the Healthiest County in Texas

Georgetown is the county seat of the healthiest county in the state, according to a national ranking released yesterday. Williamson County is the #1 healthiest county in Texas in the 2013 County Health Rankings, an annual report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Williamson County was ranked the #2 healthiest county in Texas in the 2012 report.

The annual ranking is a quality of life report card that grades counties on a wide variety of factors such as community safety, employment rates, graduation rates, healthcare access, health care quality, longevity, and health behaviors.

One of the factors considered in the County Health Rankings was recreational programs and facilities. “The evidence for the effectiveness of improving access to recreational facilities is so strong that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend it as one of the 24 environmental- and policy-level strategies to reduce obesity,” according to the report.

The positive effects of strong public safety and low crime rates in Williamson County were also key factors in the ranking, with community safety contributing to outcomes such as birth weight, diet and exercise, and family and social support.

Many organizations and businesses in the county play a role in contributing to the quality of life ranking, including schools and universities, parks and recreation programs, hospitals, health clinics, nonprofit organizations, workplace wellness programs, law enforcement, and economic development efforts.

The rankings are available online at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

Outdoor Pickleball Courts are Now Open!

Georgetown Parks and Recreation has recently completed construction of four outdoor pickleball courts. The courts are Outdoor Pickleball Courts 001located at the McMaster Athletic Complex (corner of College and WL Walden).  They are located in the southeast corner of the facility on the old inline hockey rink.  The courts are available on a first come, first served basis and are open seven days a week from daylight until dark.  Players will need to provide their own paddles and balls which can be purchased at Georgetown Sporting Goods or from a number of online vendors.

Pickleball is a fun game that is played on a badminton court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic baseball (similar to a whiffle ball) and wood or composite paddles. It is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.  It’s a great game that is easily learned by young and old alike.

For information on everything pickleball please see the USAPA website at http://usapa.org/

We are currently in the process of planning some clinics to introduce how the game is played.  If you are interested in attending one of these clinics, are looking for other players in the area, or just want more information about the game of pickleball, please feel free to give me a call at 930-1367.