A project with decades of history behind it and an unmatched show of generosity, the David A. Segal Family Aquatic Center presents the unique opportunity to enrich the educational experience and sports participation for Jesuit students.
Also known as “The Gull,” the state-of-the-art facility will house an eight-lane competition pool, a four-lane warm-up pool, and the latest in water sports technology. Scheduled to open in the Spring of 2021, The Gull will offer a chance to expand many programs that the school offers, and improve the athletic lives of students. I asked teachers and coaches about their hopes for the new facility.
Mr. Rick Martin, the Head Athletic Trainer, reflects “the natatorium will be a great resource for athletes rehabbing injuries as water is medium to provide resistance and decrease body weight for lower extremity ambulation.”
The Head Swimming and Diving Coach, Mr. Doug Moyse, expresses much gratitude toward the Segal family. He expands on the new possibilities for the swim team, as well, saying “the logistical advantage and convenience of an on-campus pool mean that once a student/athlete is at school, they don’t need to go anywhere else. This alone should drive the team numbers up. With more room to spread out the varying degrees of skill levels, it makes it easier to individualize your instruction to target what the athletes need to work on most.” Coach Moyse also elaborates on the new “awesome” competitive environment: “We can bring in top schools to test our guys at dual or tri meets. In the past, we’ve had to rely on a few gracious meet hosts like Allen, Frisco, and Highland Park to give us a challenging “all on the road” schedule. Holding quality home meets will be a nice way to pay back some of the schools who have taken care of us.”
The new natatorium also presents new cross-training opportunities for the myriad of sports offered at Jesuit. When asked, Mr. Giuliano Sanchez, The Director of Athletic Performance, commented “The natatorium will give us the availability to do increased recovery sessions. For example, the basketball team is at the end of their season, so moving around in the pool will reduce pressure on their joints and improve blood flow to feel better for the next practice; it is a great change in pace that will keep the students involved and focused.”
“Having a pool on campus will benefit the Marine Biology Program in many ways,” reflected Mr. Corey Marr, the teacher in charge of the Marine Biology Program. “An Open Water scuba certification, which is required for the underwater field research portion, takes a lot of practice and several hours of skills training in a pool. Refresher dives have really not been something our students have been able to do, so for those students who only dive once a year, a refresher dive in a pool is very helpful for conserving air, underwater communication, and improving buoyancy—which is very important in assuring that we do not cause damage to corral and other underwater life on the bottom. Students can also practice setting up their underwater labs in a pool before they go to the sites and reach the ocean floor, which ultimately improves accuracy and efficiency while on an ocean dive.”
An article in Jesuit Today also mentions that the facility will allow “our students to engage in experiments not and activities not currently possible.” In the same article, the single donor of the natatorium, Mrs. Rachel Segal, voiced her appreciation for the quality of education at Jesuit and expressed how “it is an honor to support the School, and giving to Jesuit provides the satisfaction of funds well directed and utilized.”
A big thank you to the entire Segal family and everyone who has been involved in this momentous project from beginning to end.
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