Included in that vision is a community pool, under construction, that aims to further the cause of youth-drowning prevention under the $1.3-million Learn To Swim initiative, for which Hillsborough County, Florida Government has earmarked $800,000.
BSAC leadership is committed to securing from private donors the remaining funds, which will be used to renovate both the 50-meter pool and the famed diving well, where Olympian Chris Colwill, center, learned to swim and dive and now is the head diving coach. Pool renovations will allow for open lanes throughout the day for swimmers of all ages and abilities to swim laps — even when Blue Wave coaching is underway — and for new programs, such as water polo, synchronized swimming and aquatic fitness and rehabilitation.
In turn, BSAC will become an economic driver for the community at-large, able to attract and host major swim competitions. “That means bringing in 800 kids over the course of three or four days, staying at our hotels and eating at our restaurants,” said Rotarian Chuck Burgess, left, executive director of BSAC and the newly seated honorary mayor of Brandon, whose Burgess 4 Brandon charity campaign this year raised more than $100,000 for area nonprofits. “We’re a nonprofit driving the economic sector, affecting not only the bedroom community but also the business community.”