The National Swimming Pool FoundationⓇ (NSPFⓇ) hosted the 14th Annual World Aquatic HealthTM Conference (WAHC), an industry-leading educational forum for aquatic professionals. Attendees from around the world visited the Omni Interlocken in Denver, Colorado, from October 17-21 for the conference and associated pre- and post-conference events.
This year, a record number of 420 leaders, 209 of which were first-time attendees, gathered to shape the future of aquatics. The WAHC hosted 80 Environmental Health Officials, and guests from 42 states and 12 nationalities, including Austria, Australia, Canada, France, China, Israel, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Conversations at the WAHC range from how to run a more profitable facility, to how society prospers from water immersion and activity. “When I see leaders from around the world and professionals from around the industry, government and academia gather, I smile,” began NSPF CEO Thomas Lachocki, Ph. D., “because when their conversations roar I know that relationships, passion, and creativity are working together to create a brighter future for all of us.
On the theme of professional growth, WAHC 2017 Keynotes included champion public speaker Ryan Avery and Neuro Facilitator Amy Posey. Through their presentations and workshops, as well as a new track on Training for Business Growth, attendees learned techniques for effective and efficient communication with employees, coworkers, and customers. WAHC 2017 also offered tracks on Health Benefits, New Industry Technology, Public Health, the MAHC, Facility Management, the ever-popular topic of Advanced Chemistry; and new this year an Indoor Air Quality Panel Discussion which generated conversation among industry professionals on best practices.
Leaders of all ages and all market segments continue to be attracted to the diversity of ideas explored at the WAHC. Attendees representing government, manufacturer, aquatic facility, builder, distributor, academia, health, medical, human service, risk management, hospitality, media, research, and service all find new and existing topics of interest to further their professional development. The WAHC reinforces that water improves quality of life, and gathering together to share research and best practices can enable more people to experience the benefits of water activity.
Such an impression was made on 2016 Keynote Speaker Dr. Wallace J. Nichols that he returned in 2017 to speak, sponsor, and bestow an award. The 4th Annual Blue Mind Award was presented to Lachocki and NSPF at the conference, symbolizing the unity that has connected the dots between an active aquatic lifestyle and physical and mental health.
“We share the vision of a world where all people are confident and competent in the water and enjoy access to all the benefits this brings to themselves, their families, and their communities,” says Dr. Nichols, founder of Blue Mind. “We’re proud to award the 4th Annual Blue Mind Award to these deserving recipients.”
Events surrounding WAHC 2017 gave attendees the opportunity to experience the 2nd Biennial CMAHC Vote on the Code Conference, Aquatic Therapy Day, AST Certification Training Course, Insider’s Tour and USA Swimming’s Regional Build a Pool Conference.
Additionally, NSPF was proud to welcome Angels of America’s Fallen Step Into Swim grant recipient Christina Rizzo and her children, survivors of fallen soldier Sergeant Todd Anthony Rizzo. The entire audience was moved by the story of the Rizzos and how learning to swim provided confidence and joy to their grieving family. View the video here and learn how you can help more children learn to swim by donating to Step Into Swim today.
The 15th Annual World Aquatic Health Conference will continue to expand and provide opportunities for professional growth. Join NSPF at the Charleston Marriott on October 10-12, 2018. Registration opens in April, and information about the leading educational conference on aquatics is available at thewahc.org.
Press release courtesy of the National Swimming Pool Foundation.