Aquatic center adds chair lift

Sept. 5, 2012


Ann Robinson has been swimming for 21 years and knows the benefits of water exercise. The 1956 graduate of Henderson State moved back to Arkadelphia six years ago and began swimming regularly at Henderson’s Aquatic Center.

In March of this year, Robinson had to quit swimming because it became too painful for her to use the steps to enter the pool. But it wasn’t long before Henderson and Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia (BHMC-A) formed a partnership that helped Robinson return to the pool.

Together, Baptist and Henderson purchased a swimming pool lift that provides seniors easier access to the pool. The chair was installed about three weeks ago. “I think it’s wonderful,” said Robinson. “I was so happy when Coak called,” referring to Coak Matthews, Henderson swimming coach and director of the aquatic center.

Henderson offers the use of its aquatic facility to better serve Arkadelphia and Clark County with its health and rehabilitative needs. While the pool meets Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations with a sloped ladder accessibility entrance, many more people will now be served with the addition of the chair lift.

“Patients come from as far away as 40 miles for treatment and exercise therapy provided by BHMC-A,” said Greg Stubblefield, the hospital’s vice president and administrator. “That’s why purchasing this equipment was so important. It not only will help our residents, but the residents of cities like Gurdon, Amity, Sparkman, Bismarck and Friendship.”

Robinson provided information that lists the benefits of water therapy, including the lowering of blood pressure, strengthening of breathing muscles, enhancement of cardiovascular efficiency, improved kidney function and decreased swelling, among many others. “This is a great community service Henderson is doing,” she said.

Matthews said anyone interested in using the pool for fitness and therapeutic purposes can contact him at 870-230-5206. “At this time, our hours are 8:45-11 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. But these hours can vary depending on other activities and the availability of a lifeguard,” he said. “We do not charge a fee for this, but donations are encouraged.”

Matthews said the Aquatic Center also offers year-round swimming lessons, water aerobics classes, community lifeguarding classes, fitness swimming, triathlon swim training, and training for competitive swimming.

Weather Icon
Javascript must be enabled to view the current weather conditions