Aquatics Instructor Highlight: Ariana Sparapani

Staff Highlight - Ariana Sparapani

Ariana Sparapani is the new Aquatics Director at Elite Sports Club – Mequon. Ari has been with Elite for quite some time in a variety of different roles in the Aquatics department. Join us in congratulating her on her new position and see what she enjoys about working at Elite!

Meet Ariana Sparapani

  1. What position(s) do you currently hold at Elite and any you have held in the past?

I’m the Aquatics Director, as well as a private and group swim instructor at Elite Sports Club-Mequon! My previous positions at Elite include lifeguarding and working at the front desk.

  1. How long have you been a member/working at Elite?

I started working at Elite in February 2012.

  1. How long have you been a swimmer? Did you take swim lessons?

Forever! I started in a parent-tot class, finished learning to swim by age 5, and went on to swim competitively for a local club team and high school team until I graduated.

  1. What made you want to become an aquatics instructor?

I have been a part of the Aquatics department at Elite for almost a decade, first as a lifeguard, and then a swim instructor. Following that, I was promoted to Assistant Aquatics Director – working closely with the previous director handling most of the lifeguarding operations. During that time I got my lifeguard instructor certification to teach lifeguard courses/recertify existing guards. When our previous director left in fall, I made the next step to fill the shoes of the Aquatics Director!

  1. What is your favorite part about your job? About swimming in general?

It brings me so much joy to see children and adults become independent swimmers in the water. Swimming is a lifelong skill and a lifesaving skill so seeing the progression of “I’m scared and can’t swim” to “This isn’t so bad but I have more to learn” to “I’m a pro, practically Olympic material (haha)” is amazing!!

  1. What activities do you participate in at the club or outside of the club besides swimming?

Outside of Elite, I work full-time as part of the nursing staff in a local Milwaukee ER. I am a mom to an amazing little girl and in spring of 2020, I (we) became licensed foster parents! I enjoy spending time outside, hanging out with family and friends, and cooking – even though I am not the best chef and always have Chinese takeout as a backup plan on standby!

  1. How would you encourage a parent considering putting their child in swim lessons? Or an adult considering to learn how to swim?

Swimming is a critical lifesaving skill that can progress into a sport and great way to exercise as you practice, becoming stronger in the water!

  1. What advice would you give about the importance of learning to swim or aquatics exercise?

Learning to swim can prevent a child or adult from drowning, which can lead to severe bodily injury or death, so it is very important! As children grow into adults who haven’t learned to swim, they build up a fear of swimming. Overcoming that fear later in life, if they choose to take lessons as an older child/teen/adult, can be a big challenge before even learning skills in the water. Lifelong benefits of swimming fitness include a low impact way of getting cardio exercise in, building up endurance, heart health, pulmonary health, boosting metabolism, rehabilitation for injuries that would otherwise prevent a person from getting exercise, becoming a part of a wonderful community, and so much more! See you at the pool 🙂


Have you or your child taken a swimming lesson with Ariana Sparapani? Tell us about your experience, or perhaps your own personal swimming story!

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