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Venema Aquatic Center a Busy Place During Summer Months for Dan Gelderloos

Sunday, August 22, 2010

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By Sports Information Student Assistant Andrew Knot

Summer vacation typically signals empty classrooms and campuses, but the Venema Aquatic Center has seen plenty of activity in the summer months.

Swimming and diving lessons, high school conditioning, summer swim team, and various camps have made Calvin’s Venema Aquatic Center a hotspot for aquatic training.  Among those camps are an elite swimming camp and a high school diving camp.

In total, over 700 swimmers and divers have tread the waters in Calvin’s Olympic size pool this summer.

Dan Gelderloos, Calvin’s Head Swim Coach and Aquatics Director, says these events have generated nothing but positive exposure for both Calvin and its Swim and Dive programs.  These organized events provide Calvin with a great opportunity to utilize and display its top-notch facilities to a broad audience.

“We still have swimmers and families coming in for the first time and the response is the same, they are amazed at the facilities we have here,” said Gelderloos. 
The events bring in a wide range of people.  Some are new to swimming and some are accomplished swimmers.  Some are new to Calvin and some are children of alumni. 

“The events serve many different groups; the lessons serve the community and many alumni that bring their kids back to learn to swim.  The elite camps and invitational draw kids and their families to campus which is a big advantage.  I have more recruiting contacts than ever before, because swimmers and their families are coming to campus,” Gelderloos continued. 

Among those that visited the facility were swimmers from New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and even London, England.  The summer events also feature a Long Course Invitational that includes swimmers and their families from the top swimming clubs in Michigan and nearby states.

In addition to the increased outside exposure, Calvin’s Aquatics program has enjoyed plenty of success within the pool as of late.  The women’s team has won six straight MIAA championships and eight of the last 10.  The men’s team is prepared to make a run for the MIAA championship and coach Gelderloos mentioned placing top 10 in the NCAA as a goal. 

Considering all of these factors, Gelderloos sees nothing but a bright future for the men’s and women’s swim and dive programs.

“Our numbers are growing, our talent is increasing, and to be honest, it will be fun to see how high we can climb.  I think we have a lot of potential; it is going to be fun to see how far we can go,” he said.

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