“I have always felt comfortable around the pool. Here, it’s like working with your own family.”
Kim Bowling began competitive swimming at the age of five. Growing up in California, she swam alongside her sister, both of whom were ranked top 16 in the nation. Bowling’s first lifeguarding job was at a pool—now better known as the Housewives of Orange County pool— which led her to continue lifeguarding and teaching at the pool where she trained. Eventually, Bowling decided to settle down in the Indianapolis area to start her family. She coached for the Noblesville Swim Club (NOB) for 15 years before accepting the director of aquatics position at Forest Park Aquatic Center (FPAC) where she has now served for six years.
“I never thought I would be coaching back in the day, let alone running a pool,” says Bowling. “I kind of fell into this position, and, luckily, I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Bowling trained for two weeks upon accepting the director’s position before she was finally given the keys to the kingdom. Fortunately, due to her coaching experience with NOB, which primarily practices at FPAC, Bowling already felt well-adjusted to the pool and strongly connected to the swimming community that had made its home there.
“I was only nervous about the maintenance side of this position at first,” shares Bowling. “I can now say that while I am no plumber, I can use Flex Seal in a quick pinch.”
Bowling is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to ensuring that the facility is always running to its best ability. From dealing with pool upkeep and maintenance emergencies to working with the wide array of staff members at the pool, Bowling does it all.
“I spend every day here at the pool during the summer,” says Bowling. “I’m always learning, and I love it because I never get bored.”
The majority of FPAC staff members include kids and young adults who swim for NOB, many of whom Bowling coached prior to her taking on her director’s duties.
“I love working with the kids,” shares Bowling. “When I retired from coaching, I struggled. On the bright side, I knew I was going to get to see the kids all summer and interact with them.”
Along with caring for the pool, an important part of Bowling’s job is tending to the staff and teaching the kids how to act professionally and responsibly.
“When you’re dealing with the public each day, you never know what you’re going to get,” says Bowling. “I get to set an example for the kids on how to act. It’s a good feeling.”
Bowling explains her job would not be possible without the overwhelming support of her family and staff, along with the Forest Park and FPAC communities. “I get to meet so many people in this position,” says Bowling. “I have a great network of friends within the swimming and Noblesville communities who are very supportive. It makes my job a lot easier.”
With new long-term plans in the works for FPAC, Bowling is positive the pool will grow tremendously over the coming years. She hopes the Noblesville community continues to support and utilize a renovated and thriving FPAC.
“It’s amazing how many people from Noblesville have no idea we’re here,” says Bowling. “We have something for every age. And, it’s all located in one fun and beautiful location. There aren’t too many facilities like this one in Indiana. It is a valuable community asset for those that live close by and for those in surrounding communities.”