Celebrating 5 Years
Celebrating 5 Years: A Letter from our CEO
Today is Aqua Fun Academy’s 5th anniversary. As we become established in our community, we still haven’t lost our intimate, start-up feel that brings about everyone’s importance to the company. Even with our start-up feel, our inevitable growth calls for forward thinking because, without question, our greatest accomplishments still lie ahead of us.
Aqua Fun started on a basement table with a sketch of a few fish done with crayons on the back of a napkin, taking on several forms before turning into the beloved Whalee logo we know and love today. As we were sketching, we only knew what our aquatics industry was like before AFA, and that we wanted to make it better. We started visualizing and effecting new ways to create individual, bespoke experiences for our swimmers in the water and their loved ones watching from the pool deck. Before we knew it, we were setting the standard for personalized, superior service.
When we started our first season at Sunny View, we had 24 swimmers for the entire session. To fill up the time, we would give away free time to clients so the pool wouldn’t look empty. Instructors would take initiative and help other instructors on their free time. We noticed this left a positive impression of high end service with our clients, and we just went with it, even as we grew larger.
We have definitely outgrown ourselves in some areas now. But I don’t measure our success in clients, employees, or revenue. I measure it in the smiles of our swimmers as they experience our core service, swimming lessons, and leave our pool satisfied and accomplished at the end of the day. I measure it in the compliments our team receives from happy parents regaling stories of their children overcoming fears of the water. Stories about children swimming in the ocean during family vacations, all thanks to the hard work our staff have put into it. Even though we’ve grown by over 1,200% since that first season, we still feed off the positive feedback of our parents, and use that to guide us and our performance. That’s how we stay motivated in an industry resistant to change. We know swimming education can be done better, and we prove it every single day.
In the near future, education as we know it will fundamentally change. We already see it with the advent of new technologies, and the way content is starting to be delivered online rather than through classrooms. Our corner of the education sector, being based in (electronic unfriendly) water, is particularly isolated from technology. However, we view swimming as a safety skill, not a recreation activity, and as such we push to use whatever advantage we can to deliver the best possible experience to our swimmers. For example, we’re now employing the use of underwater playback technology so that our swimmers can view and improve upon their strokes in a more accurate manner. Anything we can do at our facilities will keep our swimmers safer out in the real world, and that for us is an investment worth making.
Our progress is made thanks to our hard-working personnel, who give their time day in and day out to make the world a safer place for our children and posterity. Our progress is also fueled by our supportive clients and community who open our network to the world through their kind words and endless encouragement. I am proud, honored, and humbled to be a part of this incredible team and community, and excited to see what AFA will look like in the next 5 years!