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OUT of the Pool & INTO the Community

By Emily Ward, Director of Program Development and National Sales

As the former aquatics director at Indiana University, one of my biggest challenges was getting new users (i.e. non lap swimmers) to the pool. How could I show them all the fun activities in the pool, if they’re not coming there in the first place?  At most facilities, there is a  big untapped market of people who do not use the pool. Aquatics programmers are always trying to introduce activities like log rolling that 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 participants with these activities; participants that might not even enter the aquatic center?

That’s what struck me about Key Logs - I 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 and Community Recreation programs are using this strategy to energize community events and introduce thousands of people to log rolling in convenient places like community and campus festivals, farmers markets, sporting events, Welcome Week on campus… if you have a 16' 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 you can do it in shallow water, so even non-swimmers can participate. A shallow, inflatable pool provides a low-barrier way to get people to try it - they’ll only get wet up to their knees and they don’t even need their swimsuits! And during warm summer months, 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 local fire department, and you can fill  up your pool in minutes!

Log rolling is eye catching, especially in the middle of an event or festival! Spectators 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 events or programming – sport league registration, signup deadlines, new programs, special events, 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 about 30” in depth. 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’ve seen used often is the Intex 15’x42” Easy Set Pool for $249. 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

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