Olympics buoy swim clubs

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

PORTLAND Call it the business windfall of the Beijing Olympics and the swimming prodigy Michael Phelps.

While swimming clubs throughout the state gear up for the fall competitive swim season with tryouts and grueling practices, some are also fielding an extraordinary number of calls from people interested in giving the sport a shot.

“Since the Olympics, I am getting calls on a daily basis,” says Julie Greenaway, president of the Mount Hood Swim Team and program. “They watched the Olympics and got really excited.”

For swimming programs, some of which are non-profits, the recent publicity of the sport is expected to lead to a wave of new students and revenue to enhance operations. Statewide there are 68 teams and programs registered with Oregon Swimming, the local governing body of competitive swimming. “Oregon is a big swimming state,” Greenaway says.

At the David Douglas Swim Club in Portland, head coach Jim Bowe can barely manage all the phone calls. Hoping to rope in more students from the wake of the Olympics, he moved up tryouts for new students from November to mid-September. He expects triple the usual number of new swimmers this year.

“We try to take advantage of [the Olympics],” he says.

Typically, swimming programs anticipate about a 10% increase in new students in an Olympic year, says Bowe. Though “it seems even more this year,” Greenaway says.

Part of that’s due to the extensive prime-time coverage NBC devoted to swimming at the Olympic Trials in Omaha and the Beijing Olympics, says Jamie Fabos, spokeswoman for USA Swimming, the national governing body of the sport.

But it’s also been the astonishing ability of Phelps, now a household name, who has catapulted the sport of swimming into the national consciousness.                   

JASON SHUFFLER



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

More Articles

Portland’s long-distance bike commuters

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
Matt KellyresizethumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Pushing the extreme.


Read more...

Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

5 things to know about veterans in the workforce

The Latest
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
070215-vetsthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.


Read more...

Storyteller in Chief: Natural Prophets

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN

Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.


Read more...

Business School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Training, from the mundane to the sublime, bolsters companies and workers in an uncertain world.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS