Armed with the knowledge that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury fatalities for children under the age of four and the second leading cause in children under the age of fifteen, learning to swim was non-negotiable for Brent and Stephanie Scarbrough’s children. From the time their children were infants, they searched for a swim program that was child-centered, fun and engaging, yet also prepared children to know precisely what to do in the event of an unexpected submersion. Having worked at the renowned Houston Swim Club throughout high school and college, Brent had high expectations for a swim school. As an elementary school teacher with a master’s degree in educational psychology, Stephanie also had high expectations for the caliber of an instructional program. When their children were babies, they enrolled them in the local rec center, but the kids’ lips turned blue as the water was too cold for infants, and the curriculum seemed to lack any purpose other than playing in the water. As their children aged, Brent and Stephanie continued to explore rec center programs, semi-private lessons and summer swim clubs, but they could not find a facility in the north metro area that met all of their expectations. They just couldn’t find the right fit. Eventually, they shifted their focus from the search for a quality program to the need for a quality program. That is when the idea for Colorado Swim School was born.
In the fall of 2012, the Scarbroughs began exploring the north metro area for the perfect location for their swim school, while simultaneously working with their friends at the Houston Swim Club to make their dream of a swim school become a reality. They contacted the North Metro Denver SBDC and connected with an SBDC consultant who was excited about their idea and was supportive and helpful throughout the entire process. Brent and Stephanie encountered many roadblocks along the way and the SBDC was there at every step to offer guidance, suggestions and tools to pave the road to success. The SBDC consultant also helped promote the business by offering marketing strategies as well as connecting Brent and Stephanie with members of the community who helped to keep the ball rolling.
“The SBDC was vital in helping us get our swim school off of the ground. The consultant helped us revise our business plan and secure financing. We are so grateful to have worked with such an amazing group of people,” said Brent.
After countless hours of planning and negotiating, they finally broke ground in March 2013 in Broomfield. On August 12, Colorado Swim School opened its doors for swim lessons. Initially, just ten families were enrolled, but in just six short months there are almost 200 families registered and they are continually hiring new employees.
Brent and Stephanie will continue to promote the Colorado Swim School’s mission, which is to provide a proven learning process where babies, toddlers, children, and adults can take steps toward mastering comfort in the water, learning to swim, enhancing and refining strokes, and more importantly, becoming safer and more aware in and around bodies of water. They are still in contact with the SBDC consultant who turned their dream into a reality and are also proud to admit that both of their children are now avid swimmers and are interested in trying out for swim teams!