August 1, 2003 at 10:28 a.m.
“The kids have been waiting for something like this,” said Lisa Willhite, director of Coach Lisa’s Swimming and Diving Academy and Chisago Lakes diving coach. “My divers especially. Diving outside in warm water, it’s the way its supposed to be.”
It began with an idea four years ago. After teaching swimming and diving over the summer at Chisago Lakes High School, Lisa Willhite started to think about her own pool, her own classes. June 9 2003, her dream became reality.
“We always wanted to do something over the summer. I started a summer program the year after I began to coach because I feel so strongly about helping young kids learn how to swim. Every kid should learn how to swim. What better way to do it than to teach lessons right in my own back yard? We keep our classes small so each kid gets the attention he or she deserves.”
The pool just isn’t any pool. Surrounded by 150 yards of concrete, the pool is 20 yards long. The diving side of the pool is equipped with a one meter diving board built to federal standards for diving. The plans were even approved by the National Swimming Pool Director, giving the Willhites the go ahead to host a high school, junior olympic, or even a NCAA diving meet.
If that’s not impressive enough, it’s a chlorine free pool, run by ionization and oxidation.
“Not having chlorine is big. Kids don’t have to worry about opening their eyes under water. It’s like swimming in a big bath tub,” smiled Willhite.
Nothing was spared. After nearly a four month construction project last summer, it’s full speed ahead. Everyday, three programs roll in and out of the water, starting as early as 8:30 a..m. with the diving club.
“Everyone of my divers are diving this summer. The summer is a time to learn new dives and they all want to be there,” remarked Willhite. “This pool is a program builder. I’m the diving coach and I want to have good divers. You have to go out there and find them and work with them and this pool allows me to do that. Overall, we have no regrets. I feel much more comfortable with the way things have worked out.”
For more information on the academy, call 257-9005.