ALAMEDA SWIMMING POOL ASSOCIATION
AN INFORMATIONAL REVIEW
The Alameda Swimming Pool Association has provided the city of Alameda and community, especially the children, with an unparalleled record of community service for the last fifty years. The inspiration for the program originally came from Frank Weeden with the help of some of his close friends and associates. Mr. Weeden maintained that since Alameda is an island, all children should learn to swim. It was a practical matter of public safety as well as providing a healthy activity for the children of Alameda. The primary purpose of the program was for the benefit of the children first, and as an added feature, for their families and the swimming enthusiasts in the city. The Mr. Weeden’s original program began with small children, kindergarten age or younger, in a pool owned by Mr. Weeden and some of his neighboring property owners.
The swimming pools at Lincoln Park and at Franklin Park were built in the mid 1950’s. The land in the parks was leased from the city, but no city money was used for construction or maintaining the pools and their programs. The cost of building the pools was provided by Mr. Weeden and Mr. Stolte of Stolte Inc. The city has been the beneficiary of the volunteer, non-profit organization managing the pools since the original construction of the pools.
The Alameda Swimming Pool Association (ASPA), a non-profit corporation, was formed to oversee the operation and maintenance of the two pool sites and their programs. There are six Trustees at the present time and 22 board members (Franklin Pool and Lincoln Pool Board Members) as well as other sub-committees. The board members are strictly interested volunteers, they do not recieve payment for their time. The founding concept of the boards was to provide continuity and stability over time as well as experience and knowledge in the organization where the members, instructors, etc. are volunteers whose periods of interest and service usually coincides with the age and interest of their children. Each pool has its own board of directors to monitor and handle the day-to-day operation of the pool.
Membership is currently $365.00 per year per family. The family must live in Alameda. All members of the household, living under one roof, are considered "family". Membership is due on March 15 each year. The ASPA has been able to maintain this low annual rate because of very dedicated volunteers. They Association carries full primary insurance and workmen’s compensation. They do not rely on the US or Pacific Swim Associations or the City of Alameda as secondary insurance providers.
The Alameda Swimming Pool Association provides some of its programs, Free of Cost, just for benefit of the surrounding community. The Kindergarten Swim Program is provided for approximately six weeks in the fall, at the opening of the regular school program, and for six weeks in the spring during the latter part of April and May. The purpose of the program is to get the children water safe. There is no charge for this program and it is open to all kindergarten age children. A parent is expected to bring the child and go into the pool to help., Essentially, we teach the parents how to teach the child. Lessons for the ten and under age group (members only) are provided during the same six weeks in the spring and fall. Usually the time is scheduled immediately after the school dismissal. Senior swim is a guarded "free of charge" program provided at least twice a week. Time is also provided to the Alameda Fire Dept. for water safety training for its employees, as well as Franklin Pool being home to Alameda Emergency Radio. Time is also provided for swimmers who have special needs.
During Summer season (April-Sept.), the ASPA , a provide a variety of swim programs for its members; such as Pre-School swim, Reds-Greens-Blue Fish Novice Swim and Novice Swim (for the more advanced), Family Swim (Guarded General Membership Time) and Key holders (lap swimming). For swimmers interested in competitive swimming, the ASPA sponsors the Ala-Gator Swim Team. This team has its own parent board of directors.
The overall primary aim of the ASPA, is to provide safe, instructional activity for children. Children come first. A secondary aim is to provide opportunity for all families to have access to water activities. The third aim is to provide time for swimming\health enthusiasts to be able to participate in lap swimming for any of a variety of personal reasons.
During the swim season, guards are provided for the family swim times on Saturdays and Sundays and Thursday nights.During the School Vacation Summers, guards are provide from 9AM to 5PM. For those who enjoy swimming and wish to be able to use the pool at times other than family swim, a pool guard course is provided in the spring and the fall. Those passing the course and completing the Red Cross CPR portion may have their own gate key and office key to the pools. The key holder is then expected to take turns guarding the pool for a few hours two or three times during the season. The key holder may use either pool at any off time that programs or maintenance are not scheduled provided they abide by ASPA safety rules.
The structure of the ASPA, as originally conceived by Mr. Weeden and his associates, has worked successfully for years. It has provided a long-term stability that has enabled the pools and membership to stay on course in serving the children of Alameda, in spite of upheavals and changes in world, national, and local politics, changes in the economy, and even the latest energy crisis! There are currently 600 swimming families belonging to the ASPA. The Association has been cognizant of changing needs and has made adjustments while maintaining the primary goal of children first. Our goal is to provide every interested swimmer with a competitive swimming education. We want them to enjoy and excel at swimming, like we do.
We offer other aquatic programs as well. We condition swimmers for Water Polo or High School Swimming. Water Polo and Strength Training (Vasa Swimming Trainer) are available. The Gator coaching staff provides a wide expanse of expertise to satisfy any aquatic need.