Waterfront: September 2007 - Spotlight On Safety; Lane One For Backstroke, Lane Two For Backhand

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Spotlight On Safety

LOOP-LOC in the limelight on home improvement show.

Home improvement shows certainly have headed outdoors in a big way. In addition to HGTV's hour-long special totally devoted to swimming pools, many other shows this year have highlighted pools, spas and backyard living and/or water safety. In July, Designing Spaces featured a segment on LOOP-LOC mesh safety covers.

In the segment, the show's correspondent, Kim Banchs, spoke with LOOP-LOC's national sales manager, Fred Boehmcke, about the company's mesh safety covers and why consumers might prefer them to solid vinyl water bag covers. Boehmcke noted that LOOPLOC's mesh safety covers are light compared to solid water bag covers, though they are strong enough to support the weight of an elephant, and thus quite capable of keeping kids out and pools safe. Boehmcke also mentioned a good mesh safety cover should last about a decade and that LOOP-LOC covers come with a pro-rated 12-year warranty. "In that period of time, I could buy and throw away four solid vinyl water bag covers," he added. LOOP-LOC's BABY-LOC fencing also got a mention at the end of the segment, when Banchs described how it's a convenient and cost-effective extra layer of protection to keep toddlers and pets from gaining access to a pool.

Camera-shy LOOP-LOC CEO LeeAnn Donaton-Pesta chose not to appear in the segment, but was present the day it was shot in her backyard, and has a story to share about what wasn't caught on camera. "While they were setting up the ending shot with the parents, kids and the host sitting by the pool, one of the little kids, a two-and-half-year old boy, squirmed off his mother's lap and just rolled right on to the middle of the pool cover," she says. "He sat there for a second, looked at everyone and then got up and walked off. They didn't get it on film, but it just proved everything they were talking about."

Lane One For Backstroke, Lane Two For Backhand

Serbian tennis star plays great on grass, clay and swimming pool floor.

Professional athletes training for hours on end in pools are usually swimmers. But not in Serbia. There, tennis stars like Ana Ivanovic, who made it to the French Open women's single's final earlier this year, have honed their superior skills during the winter in a drained, Olympic-sized swimming pool at the Jedanaesti April sports center in Belgrade, Serbia.

"I grew up playing in a swimming pool," says 19-year-old Ivanovic, whose country was still called Yugoslavia when she was born. "It was very expensive to keep it warm during the winter, and there was not many people using it. So they emptied the swimming pool, and they put carpet inside, and they placed two tennis courts."

"It was impossible to play crosscourt because the wall was too close so we had to keep playing down the line," Ivanovic told Reuters .

Ivanovic fell in love with tennis at age 5, inspired by another Serb, Monica Seles, winner of nine Grand Slam tennis titles. "I always wanted to achieve what she did."

And that was no small chore, considering that Ivanovic, who now lives in Switzerland, grew up avoiding air raids in war-torn Belgrade. But this did not keep her from practicing, and when a Swiss businessman offered to financially invest in Ivanovic in 2002, the pieces started to come together.

When you combine her motivation with a generous benefactor and practice conditions that forced her to hit the ball straight, it's not hard to see how Ivanovic made it to the French Open final.

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