Source: National Swimming Pool FoundationCOLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO,August 19, 2013-Thirteen university students have been awarded a total of $20,000 in Scholarships and Fellowships by non-profit National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®) Board of Directors for the year 2013-2014. The board has funded these two award programs annually; now entering the tenth year, NSPF has provided education assistance to 120 students, totaling $170,500.

"This award program creates a legacy of learning, empowering future generations who strive to make the world a better place through action and giving back," said Bill Kent, NSPF Scholarship Review Committee Chair. "Every person who has purchased an NSPF educational product or taken a CPO® certification course has contributed to helping these young adults along the way in their professional development," he added.

The Committee was particularly struck with one applicant's response to the essay question, "What could be done in America to get more people to learn to swim?" Kayla Agan wrote, "The best way to influence the next generation is for each of us to share our knowledge with the next generation." Ms. Agan recommended the slogan, "Each One, Teach One," calling up the pay-it-forward message which is well illustrated by the foundation's grant-giving programs and their Step Into Swim™10-Year Campaign to get 1 million more people swimming.

The National Swimming Pool Foundation's Certified Pool/Spa Operator® (CPO®) certification graduates and their family members are recognized with the Scholarship Program to help them pursue their college dreams; the Fellowship program was established to encourage and provide assistance to graduate, and post-doctoral research fellows, helping young scholars as they chart their careers.

The Scholarship Committee approved $15,000 in scholarships to eleven students who are pursuing higher education around the U.S., in a variety of subject areas.As a part of the application process, each student is asked to write an essay in response to a specific question. Kayla Leigh Agan -University of Georgia, received an NSPF Board of Directors Scholarship for $2,000; Katie Annette Bludsworth-University of Florida, was awarded the P. Cory Willis Scholarship for $1,000; Robert Travis Campbell -University of Tennessee at Martin, received a Board of Directors Scholarship for $2,000; Clara Chafins-Kentucky Christian University,was recipient of the D.J. Wright Scholarship for $1,000; Andrew Finkelston-Temple University,was recipient of a Board of Directors Scholarship for $2,000; Brielle Hoth-FairfieldUniversity was awarded the Phillip Sperber Scholarship for $1,000; Aniella Faith Janosky-Indiana University of Pennsylvania was awarded the Joseph Hunsaker Scholarship for $1,000; Briana Erin Lynch -University of Arkansas at Little Rock, was recipient of a Board Scholarship for $2,000; Gayle Nelson -University of Northern Iowa, was awarded the William Rowley Scholarship for $1,000; Candice Rae Price -D'Youville College, was awarded the Donald Witte Scholarship for $1,000; and Julie Clair Simansky - University of North Carolina-Asheville, was recipient of theDonald Burns Scholarship.

The NSPF® Fellowship Program awarded $5,000 to two doctoral students who are performing risk reduction or health benefit research related to aquatic activities and/or venues such as swimming pools, spas/hot tubs, therapy pools, and waterparks.

Lori A. Sherlock will pursue her final year as a doctoral studentin Education Curriculum with a Minor in Exercise Physiology from the School of Medicine at West Virginia University (WVU). Her goal is Professor at West Virginia University, teaching and researching in the field of Aquatic Therapy. Upon graduation with her M.S. from WVU, she was invited by the WVU School of Medicine to apply for position of Assistant Professor in Exercise Physiology with the intention to teach and remodel the Aquatic therapy Emphasis curriculum. She has always been associated with aquatics and has a lifelong passion for the field of aquatics, with a career focus on the effects of aquatic exercise on cognitive function. The nationwide concern for cognitive decline, paired with potential outcomes derived by the aquatic environment, could add a new dimension for utilizing aquatic facilities. "With a nearly 50% dementia rate in adults age 85 and older, the research is sorely needed to help utilize study outcomes to present viable aquatic exercise options for cognitive and physical maintenance to promote a higher quality of life, reduced medical costs, and minimization of independence loss," she stated.

Jacquelyn Nagle is entering her third year as a doctoral student in Exercise Physiology at University of Pittsburgh. Her program of study has allowed her to merge two passions - chronic disease prevention and aquatics. "In recent years, I have taken this passion for aquatics and turned it into a pursuit of science," she wrote in her biographical sketch. Ms. Nagle is conducting research to investigate and document the positive health consequences of aquatic exercise against maladies such as, but not limited to, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, aging, physical therapy and arthritis. Her preliminary goal will educate public health officials and swimming/aquatics agencies on the most appropriate and safe methods to assess participants,taking into account an individual's health history and baseline level of fitness. Nagle added, "I hope that as my research agenda continues to develop over the next few years, I will be able to execute a number of follow-on studies to examine the effects of an aquatic exercise intervention on improving cardiovascular fitness, long-term weight loss, exercise participation, and quality of life in normal vs. overweight women."

How to apply for NSPF Scholarships and Fellowships Direct family members of individuals who have earned a Certified Pool/Spa Operator® certification may apply for the 2013-2014 year scholarships prior to June 1, 2014. The 2014 scholarship essay asks candidates to write, from their perspective, "How do we help keep public pools open?" Essays that support the position by research and inclusion of scientific references will be viewed favorably. Information on how to apply for scholarships and fellowships is available at www.nspf.org. Fellowship applicants should be performing aquatic research and can learn how to apply on the NSPF fellowships page.

About National Swimming Pool Foundation The National Swimming Pool Foundation® is a non-profit organization established in 1965, dedicated to encouraging healthier living by increasing aquatic activity through education and research. NSPF seeks to keep pools open by making them safer. NSPF classroom and online educational programs reach about 30,000 professionals each year. The foundation has donated over $4 million since 2003 to fund grants to prevent illness, injury, and drowning, and to demonstrate the health benefits of aquatic activity. In 2012, the Foundation launched the Step Into Swim™ Campaign, a 10-year initiative to create 1 million more swimmers. Teaching people to swim is an investment in the future generations of healthier and safer people. The campaign raises funds that are directly given to leading learn-to-swim organizations. Visit www.nspf.org and www.StepIntoSwim.org to learn more and to donate.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.