Author Archive: Bill Rivers

AAA Sponsors Jim McDonnell Lake Swim

reston masters lake swimAAA was a sponsor of the 2016 Jim McDonnell Lake Swim in Reston’s Lake Audubon. On May 29, AAA board member Bob Ludke had the opportunity to participate in the two mile swim, and here are his thoughts on the event.

2016 was the second year in which I participated in the two mile Jim McDonnell Lake Swim. The event also features a one mile swim, and participants have the opportunity to swim in both distances. The Jim McDonnell Lake Swim is considered one of the premier open water swims in the Mid Atlantic region and attracts swimmers of all skill levels from the area. The organizers do a great job putting together the event, the water tends to be warm and the competition is always friendly.

Compared to lap swimming in a pool, open water swimming is a refreshing change. Best of all, there is no need to worry about flip turns when cruising along in a beautiful lake! However, open water swimming does present its own challenges. Open water swimmers need to feel comfortable altering their stroke to look up and sight the buoys, and because there are no lane lines there can be jostling between swimmers – especially when rounding the buoys. Those skills can easily be learned in a swimming pool. One or two tips from a coach or experienced open water swimmer is all that is needed.

If you have never done an open water swim event consider starting with a shorter distance – something like 750 meters or one mile (roughly 1250 meters). Also, many local swim teams have groups that practice in area lakes and rivers, and those are great opportunities to get some coaching while gaining experience.

Regardless of distance, the most important rule of open water swimming is to be safe. Even experienced open water swimmers should never swim alone and all swimmers must take steps to ensure they are visible to watercraft. Once you have the necessary safety precautions in place, get in and enjoy the beauty of swimming in open water.

Photo credit:

The Summer Swimming Season is Officially Open!!

Mayor Allison Silberberg officially kicked off the start to the summer outdoor swimming season on Saturday, May 28th at the Old Town Pool. She greeted the first swimmers with remarks reminding them about how much fun swimming can be, but also a caution that everyone should know how to swim. If you don’t, sign up for swimming lessons provided by the City.

After officially opening the doors to the pool, the Mayor jumped in the water herself to give some informal swimming lessons to interested kids. And then played water basketball with some other kids to show what a complete athlete she is!!

Check out the pictures taken by the RedBrickTown staff to view the opening ceremony!

AAA will post a video of the event shortly.

Enjoy the fun and the sun at your City pools this summer!

mayorsilberbergpool Photo credit: Alexandria Times

poolopening2-2016 Photo credit: Laura Fries

PRESS RELEASE – Summer Kick Off Event

Mayor Silberberg to Kick Off Alexandria’s Summer Outdoor Swim Season

In anticipation of the rainy days giving way to summer sun, join Mayor Allison Silberberg and Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics at Old Town Pool on May 28 to kick off the 2016 summer outdoor swim season.

“This event will officially launch Alexandria’s summer outdoor swim season at Old Town Pool. Every summer thousands of Alexandrians enjoy the cool water and open spaces of Old Town Pool, and 2016 will be the best summer yet,” said Bill Rivers, Chairman of the Board, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics.

Old Town Pool includes a 25-yard pool with a diving well. A separate training pool is available for children up to 42 inches in height. Easily accessible for disabled, the training pool has a water depth range of 1-3 feet. For added convenience, a parking lot, picnic area and a tot playground are adjacent to the pool.

With its range of accessible facilities, the Old Town Pool facility hosts kids of all ages, recreational swimmers, Masters’ swim teams, birthday parties and family events in a safe and fun manner.

“With construction about to begin to renovate the public pool at Warwick Village and the City Council’s recent vote to approve $4.5 million for the new 50-meter pool at Chinquapin Recreation Center, the passion for aquatics has never been stronger in Alexandria,” said Rivers. “The summer of 2016 will be a wonderful time to enjoy Old Town Pool, located in the heart of our great community.”

What: Kick off of Alexandria’s Summer Outdoor Swim Season
Where: Old Town Pool, 1609 Cameron St., (Cross St.: Harvard)
When: Saturday May 28, 2016 at 12 p.m.
Featuring: Mayor Allison Silberberg and Bill Rivers, Chairman of the Board, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics


Bill Rivers

The First Downpayment for the 50-meter Pool


Here are the officers of your AAA Board of Directors presenting the first check for private sector funds for the 50-meter pool at Chinquapin. Jim Spengler and Laura Durham are receiving the check on behalf of the City. These dollars represent what so many of you donated on the recent Spring2Action day in April. Your contributions form the first building block of the private sector portion of that new pool. Well done!

Photo credit: Chris Teale, Alexandria Times

Read the article from the Alexandria Times (pdf)