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Cape Aqua-Man & HIS NEW LAIR

Recently, we were invited to tour the all-new Cape Aquatic Center.  WOW.  It is an amazing facility with an amazing guy at the helm as Head Coach of the River City Aquatics swim training organization.  If you have ever been on a swim team or ever had a kid on a swim team, the Cape Aquatic Center would be your dream spot and Bobby Brewer would be your dream coach.  Meet the latest 573 Superhero, Aqua-Man Bobby Brewer and his new hideout.

Bobby Brewer in front of Olympic size pool at Cape Aquatic Center
Aqua-Man Bobby Brewer and his new hideout.

My name is Bobby Brewer.  My background is in swimming and sports management. Growing up, I was immersed in the world of swimming, running a swim school with my family and started competitive swimming at an age seven. The mixture of my passion for swimming and watching my mom’s passion for building and running her swim school business led me to pursue a master's degree in Sport Management, after which I delved into the realm of entrepreneurship focused mainly on aquatics.

My first venture was as a sports agent specializing in Olympic athletes, particularly swimmers. During my time as a sports agent, I co-founded and developed various startups, including the largest swim clinic company globally at the time and the largest Olympic marketing firm in the US. Additionally, I launched Open Water Planet, organizing open-water swimming competitions across the country.

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In 2010, I shifted gears, retiring from the sports agency world and relocating to Hawaii. I, of course, couldn’t help but jump back into swimming and took over operations for a swim team while honing my less-than-amazing surfing skills. Eventually, I settled in Cape Girardeau, so my kids could be closer to family, where I embarked on multiple entrepreneurial endeavors, such as rebuilding my open water event management company, Open Water Planet, establishing bdouble Consulting, which focuses on sports marketing and management, and co-founding a swim school in Gig Harbor, WA, with 7-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard.

Overall, my journey has been driven by a passion for swimming and a commitment to fostering its growth within the communities I love, and I'm excited about the future opportunities we have at River City Aquatics.

Cape Aquatic Center's focus is on expanding our capacity and community outreach. We're dedicated to making swimming lessons accessible to all ages, regardless of financial constraints, through grants and scholarship programs while also launching an adult masters team to promote swimming and triathlon training for adults.

573: Tell us about your swim career.

My swim career has been a defining aspect of my life, beginning at a young age when I helped operate a swim school with my family. I entered the competitive realm at age 7, and by age 12, I had broken my first state record. At that point, I was hooked.

Bobby Brewer on diving board overlooking olympic pool at Cape Aquatic Center
At 14, I qualified for my first USA National Team and broke my first National Record.

At 14, I qualified for my first USA National Team and broke my first National Record. I went on to become a 10-time USA National Team member. During my collegiate years, I swam at the University of Georgia, where I served as a 2-time captain of the swim team and was a 3-time SEC Champion.

Following college, I moved to Southern California to train under the guidance of Dr. Dave Salo, a coach whom I regarded as the best in the world at the time. Transitioning to the professional side of the sport, I secured sponsorships with several big brands and appeared in several commercials, including a Cadillac commercial. This is when I became interested in the business side of swimming.

Unfortunately, my Olympic aspirations were dashed by an injury the night before my event at the Olympic trials in 2000. Despite being heavily favored as the #4 globally and #2 100 backstroker in the US, I was unable to compete the following morning. Nonetheless, I am proud of my accomplishments, including being a Gold and Silver medalist at the World University Games, a Bronze medalist at the Pan American Games, 10-time USA National Team Member, and a US National Champion.

Bobby Brewer at River City Aquatics in Cape Girardeau
Castro ended up handing out the medals and shaking hands with all of us.

Throughout my journey, I've always remained deeply involved in the swimming community, as a swimmer, swim-instructor, coach, and entrepreneur. My passion for the sport continues to drive me, whether it's through nurturing talent and creating opportunities for athletes to fund their careers, building swim teams, or creating opportunities for employment and aspiring swimmers through swim schools and other aquatic ventures.

573: Tell us about the Castro story.

In 1991, at age 16, I qualified to represent the United States at the Pan American Games. We were the only Americans allowed into Cuba at the time due to the embargo. I swam the 100 meter backstroke and won the bronze medal as the youngest male competitor in swimming at those games.  Fidel Castro came to the event that night and was planning to hand out the medals to the top three finishers of that event if the Cuban won. Castro ended up handing out the medals and shaking hands with all of us. At the time, I was 16 and did not understand the significance of that moment. But looking back on it, it was a pretty incredible experience. I am so grateful for the chance to share these lessons and experiences with the swimmers at River City Aquatics, hopefully paying forward the guidance and support I received throughout my swimming career.

Bobby Brewer Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in his hands
Swimming isn't just a sport; it's a life-saving skill...

Swimming isn't just a sport; it's a life-saving skill and a catalyst for holistic child development. In establishing our swim school, it's vital to underscore the profound benefits that swimming offers to young people. We all know swimming instruction is crucial in preventing drownings. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children aged 1-4. It’s important to me to see that every child in our community has the ability to swim. We are literally saving lives.

But beyond life-saving, swimming actually enhances cognitive and physical development in children, which most people don’t know. That’s my mission. I want everyone to know these facts. Research indicates that children who receive formal swim lessons by the age of five  are six months ahead in counting and math skills, seventeen months ahead in recalling stories, and a staggering two years ahead in following directions. Yes, you heard that right, parents—two years ahead!

In addition, children who have had swimming lessons by the age of five are, on average, seven months ahead in motor skill development and fifteen months ahead in social and emotional development compared to their peers who haven't received swim instruction.

Bobby Brewer wearing medals at Cape Aquatic Center olympic size pool're not only fostering their physical well-being but also nurturing their cognitive, social, and emotional growth.

So swimming lessons aren’t just about drowning prevention.  And the benefits of swimming go beyond mere athleticism. By enrolling your child in swimming lessons, you're not only fostering their physical well-being but also nurturing their cognitive, social, and emotional growth. It's a holistic approach to child development that resonates profoundly with our mission at River City Aquatics (RCA).

573: Tell us about RCA

RCA was founded in 2012 in Cape Girardeau, MO. Our legacy includes a proud tradition of nurturing some of the nation's most talented swimmers, with many of our athletes securing scholarships in top-tier colleges, US Open, and National qualifiers, and many of our young swimmers have achieved top 10 rankings nationwide within their age groups.

View from diving board of Olympic swim lanes at Cape Aquatic Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

As the leading and largest swim team in southeast Missouri, RCA has been committed to providing comprehensive programs tailored to typical competitive age groups. Historically, we've offered swimming lessons for children aged 3-12, alongside competitive swimming opportunities for ages 6-18. However, recognizing the importance of early water acclimation and the growing demand for adult swim programs, RCA is embarking on an exciting expansion.  In addition, we offer swimming lessons for infants as young as 6 months old, ensuring that families can start their aquatic journey from the earliest age. Additionally, we are launching an adult masters team catering to individuals aged 18 to 100 and above, providing opportunities for fitness, skill development, and community engagement.

View from diving board of Olympic swim lanes at Cape Aquatic Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
A significant addition to the revamped facility is the installation of a permanent structure, providing year-round coverage and climate control.

When the original Central Municipal Pool opened in 1980, it was regarded as a breakthrough facility for the area. At the time, it was one of the only 50-meter pools in all of Missouri. What set this facility apart was its innovative design, featuring an inflatable 'bubble' cover that provided protection during the winter months while offering an open-air experience in the summer. This flexibility made it a true state-of-the-art facility, catering to the diverse needs of swimmers and aquatic enthusiasts throughout the year.  However, after 40 years of service, the pool was in need of a substantial overhaul. Recognizing the importance of preserving this iconic landmark, a comprehensive renovation project was undertaken. Virtually everything within the pool underwent replacement and enhancement, with the exception of the pool's foundational structure, ensuring its integrity while modernizing its amenities.  A significant addition to the revamped facility is the installation of a permanent structure, providing year-round coverage and climate control. This not only ensures optimal swimming conditions regardless of the season but also enhances the overall experience for athletes, instructors, and spectators alike. Furthermore, the inclusion of a wet classroom represents a cutting-edge advancement in swim instruction. Equipped with video analysis capabilities and real-time race feedback, this innovative space empowers coaches and swimmers to refine techniques and achieve peak performance.  River City Aquatics is proud to call this pool our home, and we are thrilled to continue serving our community and nurturing the next generation of swimmers.

Bobby Brewer on diving board of Olympic swim lanes at Cape Aquatic Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

For more information on our programs or to join our learn-to-swim lessons or competitive swim team simply visit us at our website at 
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Get Out There!  Paint something.  Join something. Go swimming. Do anything.  Do something.  That sunken sofa will be fine without you. 

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