A good portion of my Spring Semester has been filled up with preparing for the Hancock Splash and Dash which is a community fitness event put on by Recreation Management students at Hancock College in Santa Maria. I was a participant in 2012 and that’s actually what turned me onto the major. I had never really known it existed before participating last year. I’m going to finish up an associate degree in it this year and I think I’m going to finally round out a 4 year degree in recreation afterwards.

Coming into the semester some of the main Splash and Dash jobs were already taken by students that had been around in Fall, but I managed to find a way to contribute a lot in the course of the semester. Having done the event before, as well as about 100 other aquatics events in the last 5 years or so, I was full of ideas for improvement. Initially I was set in charge of recruiting but over time that grew to include running the pool on the day of the event as well as some odds and ends like putting together results spreadsheets and posting stuff to facebook.

We had a good mix of older and younger students and most things came together nicely, to combat that the pool at the college decided to die on us. What’s an event without some last minute adversity right? The pool being offline was a big problem because the original idea was to swim and run on campus without crossing any streets and then finishing up with a mini expo area where our sponsors would be hanging out. It was all very compact. With only a week or two left we had to reinvent the Aquathon a few times. Ultimately we moved the swim to Paul Nelson Aquatics Center, where I swim with Santa Maria Masters, and then the swimmers would run back to Hancock for their 5k while we transported their gear back to campus. On top of running two locations about a mile apart we had to provide a bus from the school to the pool and man a run course through the city. It was an interesting challenge for sure!

This year’s Splash and Dash ended up being a really good event. My friends that did it in both 2012 and 2013 thought this year was a lot better than the year before. People liked the Aquathon and the whole transportation/remote location thing went off better than expected. I’d say between participants, spectators, and volunteers we had over 200 people involved. On top of that there was another big event going on on campus at the same time and we got some cross over from that as well. My dad was part of the other event and he saw all kinds of Splash and Dashers running past his building. Beyond being a special event “lab” for college students the Splash and Dash was also a fundraiser for the school’s athletic department. They’re launching a new women’s swim team next year and the $5000+ we raised will go to helping get that off the ground so I’m pretty stoked about that.

hooray for sponsors!

One of the many  jobs attached to Splash and Dash was finding sponsors for the event. We needed to find prizes, goody bag items, and cash to support the event. I want to thank SwimOutlet, Central Coast Crossfit, Finis, Central Coast CEO Roundtables, and the SeaCrest Resort for helping me out!

I enjoyed having the opportunity to experience an event like this from the management side as opposed to the participant side for a change. Helping put on the Hancock Splash and Dash may be the catalyst to a few other events that have been brewing in my head for a while. I can think of a few swim races I’d like to put together that would make for a good senior project :)

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