BioOx Customer Spotlight: Jim Peterfish and the Special Olympics

by SwimSwam Partner Content Off

January 16th, 2020 Industry, News

The past several years have been an exciting time of growth for BioOx. We’ve expanded to facilities across the country, and we now count universities, YMCAs and private swim clubs among our many clients. But for this piece, we wanted to spotlight one particular customer – our very first customer, actually – and the incredible work he’s doing for the swimming community.

Jim Peterfish is the president of Youthletics, which operates the Westerville Aquatic Club and serves more than 6,000 swimmers in and around the Columbus area. His swimmers routinely make the state championship, and several WAC alumni have made international teams throughout the years. A seasoned coach, Jim came to BioOx several years ago to talk about improving the air quality in his facility. We brought in our freestanding BioOx units and the air improved dramatically within two weeks.

“We used to get a lot of complaints about air quality, and we haven’t had a single complaint this year,” Jim told us a few months after bringing in the BioOx system.

We’re especially proud of our relationship with Jim because, as we quickly found out, he is deeply dedicated to making the sport of swimming accessible to all. In 2008, Jim introduced swimming into Westerville’s Special Olympics programming and he’s run the swimming division ever since. WAC donates the pool time and supplies the volunteer coaches. Most years, Jim says, he averages 20 Special Olympics swimmers – who are split between a developmental group and a more competitive team.

“It’s something we’re really proud of,” Jim told us on a recent phone call. “We’re excited about being able to provide these experiences to athletes who may not get that kind of opportunity.”

Jim is no stranger to working with athletes with disabilities. He was intimately involved in Special Olympics at Ohio State in the 1970s, when his father was a coach there, and he spent 31 years as a physical education teacher at the Ohio State School for the Blind. He also served as the school’s athletic director for six years.

While Jim left full-time work in the spring of 2012, he certainly doesn’t meet most people’s definition of “retired.” He is at the pool nearly every day of the week, and he continues to build WAC’s Special Olympics activities by recruiting his traditional high school swimmers to be Special Olympics coaches. Each year, he says he has to turn down highly capable would-be coaches due to overwhelming interest.

“Most of our swimmers view it as a really good thing to do,” Jim said of his volunteer Special Olympics coaches. “They get to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and we’ve never had a coach say it wasn’t worth it.”

Jim’s involvement with swimmers with disabilities doesn’t stop in Westerville. A long-time member of the USA Swimming Disability Committee, Jim officially took on the position of Chair earlier this month. He spoke passionately about the Triple E Profile – Educate, Empower, Engage – and the way he’s working with the committee to make that a reality. As Jim says, it’s about getting as many kids as possible involved in a parallel opportunity. And that begins with education.

“It starts with getting local groups to understand they can include these athletes,” Jim said. “We’re starting to see real progress in nontraditional athletes being included at the state level.”

We at BioOx are thrilled to support Jim and help to provide a healthy, comfortable training environment for athletes of all levels. If you’d like to learn more about BioOx – or even try us out in your facility – shoot us a message or a phone call. We’re more than happy to talk you through the system and our current 25% off trial sale, where you can test out the BioOx system for three months for $3,000.

About Air & Water Solutions

At Air & Water Solutions, we’re changing the way people think about the air they breathe. We’re leaving a positive impact on the health of the Earth, and making it a safer, more enjoyable place for those who live here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the BioOx system, get in touch:


[email protected]

See how BioOx solved the bad air problem at a YMCA.

Swimming news is courtesy of BioOx, a SwimSwam partner.

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