From the April 2015 issue

Famously Franklin: Olympics-Level Swim Lessons

Swimming is alone among fitness activities in that it burns calories, is suitable for all ages from babies to seniors, and can quite possibly save your life. But it doesn’t come naturally to all of us. A good swim school can make all the difference, and that’s what Franklin Athletic Club offers through its Aqua Club.

Two-time Olympic swimmer Nim Shapira, who developed the program with a vision of safe and fun swimming for all. It encompasses everything from a swim school for babies as young as 3 months to three levels of competitive swim team. There’s also a masters program for older swimmers and private lessons for people who need individual help reaching specific goals.

The most important goal for beginners is water safety, says Shapira. “We want them to be ready to participate in any activity they want at the pool without worrying about danger,” he says.

The program was born out of his own lifelong experience swimming, Shapira says. He’s been through 12 different programs over his career, and he drew from the best of those methods to create Aqua Club.

“We’re very excited in spreading the love of swimming,” he says. “We’re always finding new ways to teach – we never settle for something just because.”

Aqua Club is all about learning to swim in a safe, motivating, fun way that keeps swimmers striving to be the best they can.

Beyond running Aqua Club, Shapira is training to compete for Israel in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He came to Michigan after graduating from the University of Arizona, following his soon-to be wife, Katharine. She is a dancer with Eisenhower Dance Company in Ann Arbor with a satellite program at the Franklin Athletic Club. “My love brought me to my current passion and love here,” he says.

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