By Tamas Mondovics
Only days following its annual drowning prevention initiative, “Dash and Splash Aquathon,” which saw one of the best turnouts in its three-year history, the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) was pleased to announce the receiving of a major boost to support its efforts of serving the community.
This gift came last month from the Hillsborough County Commission in the form of $800,000 to improve and add facilities and programs to meet the demands of serving individuals and families at the now much-respected and renowned center located at 405 Beverly Boulevard, Brandon.
“This is a very big deal for us and we’re very excited about the county partnering with us to help residents in the greater Brandon region.,” says Chuck Burgess, BSAC executive director. “This is a tipping point moment in youth drowning prevention.”
BSAC annually serves more than 9,500 individuals. Burgess indicated that with emphasis on reducing child drownings and strong focus on children learning to swim or improving their swimming skills a priority, the funds will enable construction of a 25-yard-by-25-meter pool as well as help renovate the center’s current pool.
“We are excited and humbled to be able to positively impact generations to come with this project,” Burgess said, adding that the end results will be much more than just a pool.
“It is an opportunity to save lives every day and reverse the trend of drowning being the number one cause of unintentional death for children under the age of five in our state.”
The county’s involvement is a major boost to the center poolside as well.
“This money is a game-changer for BSAC and for all the thousands we serve,” Burgess said. “The improvements will create jobs for more lifeguards, swim instructors, water health and wellness instructors and fill administrative positions at the center, while preventing pediatric drowning remains a priority.”
Considering that BSAC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has been serving eastern Hillsborough County residents for more than 50 years, the recent financial gift and supports is by no means a hasty endeavor on the part of the County.
Commissioner Ken Hagan spoke highly of the center when he reportedly said that helping an organization such as BSAC expand and become an even better resource for the community’s needs is something he fully supports.
“The Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center has helped tens of thousands of eastern county residents during its remarkable history, and now they can continue to grow and keep building on the foundation of helping residents of all ages, especially children who need to learn how to swim here in Florida,” Hagan ssaid. “I’m excited for them as the organization is a Hillsborough County treasure that does things right.”
BSAC is counting on its relationship with Florida Swimming and United States Swimming to be awarded more state and regional competitions, which will bring athletes from around the country to Hillsborough County while benefitting local businesses in the hospitality, retail and attraction industries.
“This project will most undoubtedly be exceptional,” Burgess said.
For more information about the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, visit www.mybsac.com