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2016 WAHC promotes the value and benefits of aquatics

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The 13th annual World Aquatic Health™ Conference (WAHC) was the largest on record and the team intends to continue this momentum into the 2017 conference.

The 13th annual World Aquatic Health™ Conference (WAHC), welcomed 412 attendees, including 158 first-time participants, to the two-and-a-half day conference in Nashville, Tenn.

The event, hosted by the National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF®), was held at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in October and was the largest on record.

“NSPF offered new incentives to reach more people to convey the value and benefits of aquatics, which resulted in more than 60 additional registrations,” says NSPF chief of marketing and IT officer, Alex Antoniou, PhD. “The feedback from attendees and sponsors was resoundingly positive; WAHC 2016 was by far one of the best we’ve had.”

The NSPF looks to continue this momentum into next year for the 14th annual conference.

“The science presented helps us draw conclusions and actions that shape the future,” says NSPF’s CEO Thomas Lachocki, PhD.

The WAHC is well-attended by representatives from aquatic facilities, service providers, consultant companies, parks and recreation, waterparks, manufacturers, academia, associations, builders, community organizations, hotels, government, media, retail, distributors, and NSPF instructors.

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Author of Blue Mind, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols poses for a photo with a conference attendee.

The next step for the conference is to reach more professionals in the medical/health fields. The last two conferences have included tracks and keynote speakers that focus heavily on the health benefits of water and aquatic life. Best-selling author, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols presented the opening keynote about his concept of ‘Blue Life’ while providing references through his book Blue Mind. The idea of water improving the lives of others in numerous ways was continued with the second keynote, Professional Waterman, Bruckner Chase.

Conversationally, the Blue Mind lifestyle and how to not only live it, but also promote it, was continued by Nichols and Chase in the unique Health Benefits workshop. Collaborative minds came together to learn more about the health benefits of water.

Returning and first-time attendees, sponsors, and speakers all learned new information that will help benefit themselves, their careers, and the industry.

“I came to the WAHC when it was held in Atlanta about 10 years ago,” says returning attendee Vonda Wooten, rec manager at Aquatics City of Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks in Tennessee. “With the conference being held in Nashville this year, I was approved to attend, which was great as I enjoyed it so much in Atlanta. I compiled so much information that I’ve used for the past 10 years in my career; I wanted to get new information at this year’s conference, which was located in my home state.”

Troy McGinty, the global product manager for Hayward Commercial Products, a returning sponsor, says the WAHC is one of the most educational conferences, if not the most educational conference the industry has.

“The people who attend this conference have passion; they care tremendously about what they do,” he says. “The attendees, speakers, and sponsors all participate heavily in the WAHC because everyone involved has so many great topics they’re speaking on, along with in-depth research behind their presentations.”

The 14th annual WAHC will be held in Denver, Colo., NSPF’s home state, at the Omni Interlocken on Oct. 18-20. Early registration will take place in April 2017. For more information, visit thewahc.org.

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