2017 was a great year for aquatics in Richmond, Virginia (RVA). Eight out of nine jurisdictions are now participating in the Learn-to-Swim program which provides

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free swim lessons to second graders in the region, over 1,700 students went through the Learn-to-Swim program with SwimRVA, 26 students from the Carver College and Career Academy participated in a program that taught them how to swim and then become

2016_05-25_suzannelastday.jpglifeguard certified as part of SwimRVA’s workforce development program, 70 children with autism have learned to swim since beginning the program in 2016 and over 33,000 seniors visited the Collegiate School Aquatics Center to better their wellness through water and land group fitness classes.

This past weekend several wellness advocates participated in the SwimRVA New Year’s Challenge. This event is about setting a goal with truthfulness, working towards that goal with persistence and courage and achieving success with dignity.  IMG_2725Swimmers with different abilities, from beginners to elite master’s swimmers, came together for one purpose; setting goals for the coming year and staying active, healthy and fit through aquatics. Together they become one of the driving forces helping to make RVA the healthiest and most active city in the country.

The idea is simple. You set a goal of how many 100 yard swims you can do. It can be anywhere from 5 x 100’s to 100 x 100’s.  At SwimRVA we want you to be healthy and energized to be a part of the community. We believe that swimming can be your vehicle to stay healthy, active and fit.

The New Year’s Challenge started in 2014 when a handful of people got together on New Year’s eve to swim a few laps as they dive into the new year.  This past year, the event sold out and there were 101 swimmers of all ages and abilities swimming for a goal all their own. Together, they challenged themselves to swim over 4,500 x 100’s. For three hours they swam wall to wall, cheered on each other and completed that goal. In total 4,531 x 100’s were swum.  That is 453,100 yards; over 257 miles of swimming.

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After they completed their goal, each participant got to ring the SwimRVA Bell of Success and display their “Challenge Accepted Certificate of Completion”. After a quick photo shoot, they gathered their New Year’s swag and head off feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2018!  What challenge will you set for yourself this year?  It’s time to ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE!

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Check out the pictures in the slideshow above!