By Emily Ward, Director of Program Development and National Sales
As the former aquatics director at Indiana University, one of our biggest challenges was getting new users (i.e. non lap swimmers) to the pool and successfully broadening the type of programming we offered. How could we show students all the fun possibilities in the pool, if they’re not coming there in the first place? On most campuses, there is a large untapped market of students who do not use the pool. As your Campus Recreation program seeks to grow and facility space is finite, expanding programming to attract new users is key. Over 130 colleges and universities have introduced log rolling and see that it connects and engages students. Additionally, log rolling is an exciting and fun activity that weaker/non-swimmers can enjoy safely in shallow water alongside their friends of all swimming ability levels. But still, how can we get in front of more students with these activities; students that might not even enter the aquatic center? That’s what struck us about Key Logs - we could bring them OUT of the pool and INTO the community to attract new users.
So how do you take log rolling out of the pool and into your community? All you need is a simple, portable inflatable pool and 2 ½ feet of water.
Campus Recreation programs are using this strategy to energize Freshman Orientation, Welcome Week activities, RA training, Campus Rec staff training, Athletic events…the possibilities are endless! If you have a 15' diameter space of level ground, you can set up your pool and let people give log rolling a try!
One of the unique things about log rolling is that it can be done in shallow water, so even non-swimmers can participate. A shallow, inflatable pool provides a low-barrier way to get students to try it - they only get wet up to their knees and they don’t even need their swimsuits! And on those warm August/September days, people are happy to cool off in knee high water. All you need is a hose and a water source or solicit the help of your Physical Plant department, and you can fill up your pool in minutes!
Log rolling is eye catching, especially in the middle of campus, or next to the rec center! People will flock to see what’s going on, so not only will you be promoting log rolling but you have the opportunity to leverage the interaction to promote other programming – IM registration deadlines, special Group Ex sessions, an upcoming 5K, club sports, etc.
There are several portable inflatable pools you can buy online that are big enough to accommodate the Key Log, 1-2 instructors and 1-2 participants. We recommend a pool that is a minimum of 30” in high sidewall. Keep in mind; the Key Log is 11’8” in length, so just make sure you purchase a pool big enough to fit that length! One that we use often is the Intex 15’x42” Easy Set Pool. We’ve also seen people use portable containment pools, or convert a gaga ball pit into a pool by lining it with a tarp.
If you have questions about this or any other programming ideas contact firstname.lastname@example.org