When River Center opened its doors in 2017, we recognized the need to have summer swim teams associated with the facility. Benton Parks and Recreation Aquatic Staff, almost effortlessly, established an internal swim program called “Benton Sharks.” Instead of working with other existing summer leagues, the staff decided to use concepts from other internal Parks programs and adapt them for an aquatics environment. Benton Sharks is a developmental swim league that focuses on teaching fundamentals of competitive swimming in a comfortable learning environment. It provides an affordable introduction to the sport of swimming for both kids and families.
In the summer of 2017 Benton had 62 kids register for Benton Sharks. In 2018, we saw tremendous growth in the program with 130 registered swimmers. Over the span of a year revenue increased from $4,455 to $8,745. With increased growth, we were able to provide more coaching which was important to provide better quality instruction. Benton Parks and Recreation expects to see more growth in the future. In 2018, the Arkansas Recreation and Parks association recognized the program by awarding the River Center with the Program of the Year.