The American University in Cairo (AUC) has launched a Swimming Academy for Children and Adults, in the first of what might become a successive line of University-based sports academies. The launch of the academy comes as a step to increase the university’s athletes in community enhancement as well as gaining experience in instructing others. “We have qualified athletes to teach swimming and certified lifeguards, in addition to the University’s excellent sports facilities,” explained Louise Bertini, aquatics director at AUC and head of the Swimming Academy.
The AUC Swimming Academy, for applicants ages 4 and above who wish to take either private or group lessons, will initially target the AUC community including students, as well as faculty, staff, alumni and their children, as well as the public. Bertini pointed out that there have already been many requests from faculty and staff members for both private and group lessons. “At the beginning, the academy will be based on demand and will primarily consist of private lessons,” she said. “However, if group lessons are requested, we will accommodate that.”
Standard swimming and stroke clinics will be on offer, and are likely to be joined by future classes in synchronized swimming, water polo and water aerobics. “We also hope to start a masters swim team for adult swimmers, providing a semi-competitive environment in what are essentially formal group practices,” explained Bertini. “They’re extremely popular in the United States right now because it’s basically a swim team for adults who may be former swimmers or just want to stay in shape.”
The academy will follow the American Red Cross system and will provide a safe swimming environment. It may eventually include an age-group swim team for children, which will progress into swim meets. “Those are a great opportunity for the kids to compete and will promote a spirit of competition,” Bertini enthused.