Swimming fans with a vested interest in preventing the shutdown of Oklahoma City’s OCCC Aquatic Center can sign an online petition to voice their opinions.
The Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) announced last month that it would be shutting down its aquatic facility at the end of the summer after 25 years of operation.
The pool has played host to many meets over its quarter-decade lifespan, including the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival and the annual Oklahoma City Pro Am meet. It’s a training site for at least two area swim clubs, the American Energy Swim Club and the King Marlin Swim Club.
King Marlin coach Kathy Mendez said that SwimSwam readers with a vested interest in saving the pool could sign an online petition, which you can find by following this link.
“The college, city and state leaders need to see that this decision impacts more than a few hundred families,” Mendez said, adding that Oklahoma citizens could also reach out to their state legislators to voice their concerns.
KMSC has been compiling social media testimonials on the importance of the pool as well, and readers can voice their opinions on the official OCCC Recreation and Fitness Facebook page or using the Twitter hashtag #saveOCCCAquaticCenter.
A few of the notable names to already chip in social media support:
“This pool is closing its doors unless we rally together. It’s not an impossible proposition. It’s been done before. My pool in Milwaukee, the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center, was in fear of being torn down in 2008. But an aggressive campaign to save the pool, and to continue to provide a place for children to learn how to swim, proved successful, raising enough money to actually purchase the pool from the YMCA, and run it as a non-profit org. If it weren’t for that, many young adults would not be where they are today. Children who swam there, moved up through the ranks, learning the skills of self-discipline, goal setting, and learning from failure. Some were awarded college scholarships, and some are now a supportive force in the community. Maybe your community.” – Adam Mania, former Olympian & current pro swimmer
“I have always found this to be a wonderful facility. I’ve had the opportunity to swim in the best and fastest pools in the world, and yet on more than one occasion I’ve gone best times here. It’s a fast pool, well kept, and overall it’s a great place for our sport as a whole. And beyond the benefits to competitive swimming it offers, the health and wellness advantages people of all ages get from being in the water can’t be understated. I hope something can be done to save this pool; I have a lot of great memories from being in it!” – Megan Jendrick, former U.S. Olympic swimmer and world record holder
“….The pool was almost my four sons second home. My involvement was not only as a mom cheering on her children, I trained as a lifeguard and swimming instructor, taught babies through adult swimming lessons, coached swimming and diving and taught lifeguard training and CPR classes. My middle two sons went on to college on swimming scholarships (not in Oklahoma as there were no college programs) and they both are still involved in swimming as coaches and swimming instructors. One is on the US National Team and will represent the USA in Russia this summer at World Championships. I’m so thankful that the Aquatic Center was open when they were young and they were able to get the training needed to succeed in the sport of swimming. All four of my boys were trained there in Red Cross Lifeguard training. My boys and I were able to meet and swim/dive with Olympians, many wonderful coaches and swimmers from all over the world…. Thank you to those administrators and regents who brought the facility to OCCC when they did. So sad that the current administration and regents can’t work within the community to find a way to keep a vital facility going to benefit the health and wellbeing of Oklahoma City.” — Kathy Plummer, mother of David Plummer, member of the U.S. National Team