Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation: 'A public pool is open in Crestview!'

Renee Bell
Crestview News Bulletin

CRESTVIEW — The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation Inc., which has operated the community swimming pools at the Bernie R. LeFebvre Aquatic Center in Fort Walton Beach and the Aquatic Center in Destin since 2015, has added another pool to the ECFF family.

On May 18, the ECFF signed a lease with Central Baptist Church in Crestview to assume responsibility for the operations and programming of the Recreation Outreach Center (ROC) pool located on the CBC campus at 1105 South Pearl Street in Crestview.

This five-lane, 25-yard pool will allow the foundation to offer programs to North Okaloosa County residents similar to the ones offered in Fort Walton and Destin.

"We will begin with swimming lessons, parent and tot classes and Aqua Zumba," a foundation spokesperson stated in a media release.

Registration and swimming camps

On May 22, the Crestview Crusaders summer swim league team will conduct sign ups and tryouts, and they will begin practicing 5-6 p.m. Monday, May 24.

They will begin their swim camps on at the same date and time and kick off their regular season on Friday, June 11.

"We are looking forward to getting lifeguards certified and trained so that morning lap swim and Saturday afternoon open swim can begin in mid-June. As fall approaches, we are hoping that a Crestview High School swim team will become reality and begin training at the ROC pool," the spokesperson stated.

Swim coaches

The ECFF has been fortunate to have Coach Kay Smith on staff for several years at the Bernie in Fort Walton Beach. She will teach lessons, coach the Crusaders, and lifeguard at the ROC pool as she continues to bring the ECFF sense of community service and passion for swimming to the students, families and swimmers that will visit the ROC pool.

Katie Searles is somewhat new to the area, and possesses the same ECFF passion for the sport, experience with teaching and coaching, and selfless desire to take on responsibility in order to expand swimming opportunities for the entire community.

Smith and Searles will continue to collaborate on pool operations, program offerings, and community relations.

"The ECFF is truly fortunate to have both of them. We invite you to be a part of our growth in Okaloosa County," the foundation stated.

For more information, follow the “The ROC Pool” on Facebook, sign up for classes at rocpool.square.site online, and spread the word that a public pool is open in Crestview.

The foundation also has open positions for lifeguards and instructors; business sponsors and donors, as it is raising funds to install a pool heater and make the ROC usable year round. Email  therocpool@gmail.com to find out how you can be part of swimming success in North Okaloosa.

More about ECFF

The Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)3 Florida non-profit corporation. Its mission is to develop physical fitness and water safety among the youth and adults of Okaloosa County by providing facilities, and partnering with organizations to offer programs for instruction, training and competitive excellence in swimming, running and cycling.

Contact ECFF Treasurer Kathi Heapy, for information at swimecff@gmail.com or 850-585-6233.