Big Blue Swim School Announces Expansion in Houston, Sells Out Market With 10-Pool Deal

Courtesy of Big Blue Swim School, a SwimSwam partner.

CHICAGO (October 5, 2022) — Big Blue Swim School, one of the country’s fastest-growing franchises in the $3 billion learn-to-swim industry, announces it has finalized a deal to bring 10 pools to the Houston area. Sport Clips and Signarama franchisee Cheston Syma partnered with JDA Advisors, LLC and Girish Capital, to diversify his portfolio and grow the Big Blue brand in Texas. This brings the total number of Houston units sold to 11, following last’s year announcement from franchise partners Menaka and Prashanth Krishnan.

Syma and his investment partners bring a wealth of experience as multi-unit, multi-brand franchise owners and plan to open their 10 pools over the course of the next seven years. With these openings, Houstonians will have access to Big Blue’s unparalleled swim lesson experience made easier and more effective with proprietary technology, curriculum and family-centric facilities. Big Blue also fills a vital safety need, which is especially important in a city such as Houston, which ranks 13thon the list of U.S. cities with the most at-home pools, and in a state with some of the highest drowning rates.

“Aside from my franchise concepts, I’m also a physician,” states Setul Patel of Girish Capital. “The health and safety aspect of the Big Blue concept was a primary selling point for me, as I’ve dealt with drownings and near drownings, which is devastating. If we can do anything to prevent those tragedies, we absolutely should.”

Big Blue Swim School offers weekly swim lessons for families with children ages three months to 12 years old, making it easy for parents to schedule lessons for kids across multiple age groups simultaneously. In addition, the swim school selects locations that make it easy for parents and caregivers to incorporate swim lessons into their life and schedule. Each location will feature Big Blue’s stress-free facilities, offering warm 90-degree water, showers and changing rooms, a parent viewing area with complimentary WiFi, and its fall-resistant anti-microbial carpet.

“With Big Blue, the size of the pool and their proprietary technology created a competitive advantage over other swim schools,” Syma stated. “When researching, we didn’t find any other brands with such a strong technology focus, creating a major draw for consumers, especially as the younger generation starts having kids and families.”

“Big Blue is thrilled to have awarded the entire Houston market,” said Big Blue CEO Scott Sanders. “With these passionate and qualified franchise partners behind the pools, we know they will make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of children.”

The closing out of the Houston market is part of an aggressive growth strategy for the Big Blue Swim School franchise. With signed agreements for 227 units, the brand is well on its way to reaching its goal of 240 units committed by the end of 2022. For more information, visit


Big Blue Swim School was founded in 2009 by competitive swimmer Chris DeJong. The first location opened in Wilmette, Illinois, followed by four additional Chicagoland schools. In 2017, Level 5 Capital Partners acquired a stake in the brand, and pools are now open in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, and Northern Virginia. Big Blue is currently growing through franchising with plans to have a minimum of 240 pools sold by the end of 2022. Big Blue Swim School’s real estate expertise, strong brand, proprietary technology, and leadership support, coupled with its best-in-class consumer offerings, position its franchise partners for long-term success. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Big Blue Swim School, visit

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