Category Archives for Invites. Get involved. Join in.

Last Day, …. not so much. We’ve got more summer to go.

Consider these new recreational activities for area kids, for grades 4 and older.

We hope the Water Polo players at Langley, Faison and South Hills can join with other area youngsters to sustain and grow the Swim & Water Polo experiences in the days to come.

Let’s wrap-up the Digital Badges, make new friends, compete, and play well with others beyond school days. Older swimmers and athletes are invited to water polo practices every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am to noon at Citiparks’ Sheraden outdoor pool, weather permitting. We play tomorrow, Aug 6, 2015.

For more info, contact Coach, Mark Rauterkus, 412-298-3432.
Just show up.

Next week, we practice M, T, W, Th. at either West Penn (M&W) or Sheridan (T&Th). Practices organized with the help of Mark Rauterkus, head swim & water polo coach with Pgh Obama Academy and recent water polo coach with CMU women’s team.\

Adults get to play water polo every Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 7:30 pm at Citiparks’ Ream pool in Mt. Washington. or
call coach’s cell: 412-298-3432.

Summer Dreamers invite for students and families of Camp South Hills’ Mindful Eating, Yoga, Multimedia

The fun learning of mindfulness skills at Summer Dreamers should continue. All are invited to a follow-up picnic at the end of the summer.

Plan to attend a picnic for Mindful Eating, Yoga and Media students and families on Wednesday, August 26, from 6:30-8:30 pm at South Hills Middle School. Bring your family and friends to visit our garden, share a picnic pot luck dinner, practice some mindful eating, and share your mindfulness goals for the coming school year.

We’ll invite the sound of the bowl to practice mindful listening.  We’ll teach parents and guardians how to increase awareness of our our breathing with the breathing ball. Plus, let’s show off our computer programs to show parents and guardians how breathing mindfully changes our heart’s rhythms. Finally, we’ll also have some herbs to take home.

Please RSVP to Richard King at

Also, a new Facebook Group  is open for you to “Like” and “Follow” for ongoing mindful updates, videos and exercises.
Mindful Eating, Yoga, and Media on Facebook =
Richard King, PhD

National Night Out, August 4, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 5:00 pm at Nelson Mandela Peace Park (corner of Broad St. and N. Evaline St.) for Garfield’s National Night Out!

There will be free dinner, a performance from the King of Kings Choir, children’s activities with Assemble, and much more!

Water Polo happens in the evenings at Citiparks pools

Summer Dreamers who want to swim better and who want to have some fun, come out to the pool in the evenings. Bring your friends, family and guardians too.

Extra Evening Practices and the Google Calendar

Five times a week, Coach Mark or staff with Swim & Water Polo, are going to local swim pools for extra practices. All are invited. Let’s master a lifetime skill this summer and let’s play community water polo and SKWIM games all summer and all year. Check out and subsribe to the Google Calendar for dates, times, locations of these sessions. See it at We want to host an All-City Sports Camp in August 2015.

  • Mondays & Wednesdays, 6-7:30 pm, Northside, Citiparks’ Sue Murray swim pool.
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays, 6-7:30 pm, Mt. Washington, Citiparks’ Ream swim pool.
  • Fridays (but not July 3rd), 5 to 8 pm, Hill District, Thelma Lovette YMCA on Centre Ave.

Pool admission at Citiparks is required. However, all 15-and-under can get a FREE Citiparks Pool Pass by going to any of the Citiparks Rec Centers and signing up. Family pool tags cost $60, on average.

Sessions at the YMCA are no charge. Kids need to be signed into the facility by an adult on their first visit. College players / Masters play water polo on Tuesdays, so watching them is an experience too.

Co-op Team Forming: Pittsburgh Combined

Sports is about competition, but with a new project from BGC seasonal employee, Mark Rauterkus, cooperation is the prime goal. Students from a number of different schools are being recruited to work together to form a new varsity water polo program at Obama Academy. The key to playing well with others rests with adults at the respective schools, the principals and athletic directors.

An email invitation to more than ten different schools was sent in June 2015, in hopes of forming a sports team coop, a PIAA sports term, that allows students from various schools to play under the same team banner in high school competitions. Coach Rauterkus and others at Pittsburgh’s Obama Academy are familiar with squads that include students from different schools. The school’s football team, called USO, has U-Prep, Sci-Tech and Obama. All the Obama varsity teams, such as swimming, basketball and volleyball, can include the students from U-Prep and Sci-Tech.

Coach Rauterkus is the boys varsity swim coach at Obama Academy. His team won a WPIAL section title, going undefeated in its first year in the WPIAL in 2013. Home-school and CAPA students are on the Obama swim team too.

“We’re pulling together an new program that forms a bigger pool of eligible athletes,” said Rauterkus. Catholic schools, (Central, Okland, Bishop Canevin, Seton LaSalle), private schools (Ellis, Winchester Thurston), charter schools (Urban Pathways, City High) and other smaller public schools (Westinghouse, Brentwood, Wilkinsburg) are invited and are considering the co-op.

“Playing well with others is a theme that resonates with me,” said Rauterkus. “The opportunities for the city kids are often much different than what are presented in suburban settings. “With water polo, we can grow the sport and create friendships and better understandings among different groups of people.”

Presently only North Allegheny and two other schools in Erie field boys water polo teams. Pittsburgh Combined, a team hosted by Pittsburgh’s Obama Academy, could be the fourth.

Underwater player

Invites to join were sent to: Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12, Pittsburgh Westinghouse High School, Central Catholic, Oakland Catholic, Bishop Canevin High School, Seton-La Salle, Ellis School, Winchester Thurston, City High School, Urban Pathways, Propel Charter Schools, Hill House Charter School, Imani Christian Academy, Wilkinsburg High School, Brentwood High School, Carlynton High School, Northgate High School.

For the past six summers, water polo has been offered as an activity with Summer Dreamers Academy. In 2015, more than 150 students get to learn to swim and play water polo for 3-hours a day for 28 days. Staff from many of those schools help train the students as employees, including more than a dozen from the city’s Learn & Earn job program.

The open letter to school administrators says, in part: “In past years, we’ve had more informal participation and called the team, Pittsburgh Combined. This year, with your okay, we’d love to include students from your school in a more robust program with more jobs and tighter relationships among the educational institutions so that the city kids can compete.”

Water polo seems to be about both: competition and cooperation.

See the letter and more at the Pittsburgh Combined wiki page.

Water polo for adults, masters, lifeguards, college players and varsity swimmers

The first night of masters water polo happened in Pittsburgh at a new location, Citiparks Ream Swim Pool in Mt. Washington.

Drive up to Mt. Washington on McArdle Roadway and at the top of the hill, cross over Grandview Drive and continue straight. Just after the first light, on the way down the back side of Mt. Washington, you’ll see the Ream Rec Center. The swim pool is not visible from the road. On street parking.

Water polo action

Water polo action.

See you Tuesdays, 6-7:30 pm.

Pay $5 at the door for adults, or get a yearly pass for all Citiparks pools for $30. Kids and veterans are less.

Info about Citiparks Swim Pool Tags for 2015

Free Pool Passes for those 15 and younger:

Citiparks is now offering FREE swimming in all City of Pittsburgh pools for resident children, fifteen years and younger.  Parents need only to register their children at any of Citiparks’ 10 Recreation Centers across the city then bring their membership cards to the pool each day.

How do I prove I am a city resident?

Proof includes a driver’s license or state photo I.D., school I.D., utility bills, report cards, pay stubs, lease agreements or other official correspondence. Your city address must be on the identification to be valid.

How do I prove I receive welfare?

Bring a copy of your case printout. You can get this from your caseworker at the Department of Public Assistance. The printout must include a current date, your name, the name of everyone in the family you want to get tags for, and your address.


Your pool tag can be used at our indoor aquatic facility, the Oliver Bath House, or at any of our 18 outdoor facilities.  The tag is good all summer long, and can be used at our indoor pool throughout the fall, winter and spring.  The tag you purchased now expires June 1, 2016.

To avoid losing your tag, sew the tag on to your swimsuit.  You may wear the tag attached to an ankle or wristband or looped onto your swimsuit’s shoulder strap or belt loop.  For your own protection, never wear your tag on a neck chain or pinned to your suit.  Wear your tag the entire time you are at the pool.  It must be visible to the pool staff.  Citiparks will not refund or replace lost or stolen tags, so it is safest to sew on your tag.

You must have a tag to enter any of our aquatic facilities, even if you are not swimming.  The tag is your admission to the pool area.  Your admission fee helps pay for the staffing and operation of the facility.  Don’t forget, children under the age of 6 must be accompanied by an adult 16 years or older in the water.

Tags may be revoked for violations of pool rules.

The City of Pittsburgh offers a variety of aquatic programs for people of all ages. To find out what programs are available at your pool, contact the Head Lifeguard, look online at, or call the Aquatic Division Office at:  412-323-7928.


The City of Pittsburgh’s 18 outdoor aquatic facilities opened on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at 1:00 PM.  The outdoor swimming season ends on Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2015.  Citiparks pools will remain open through Labor Day as staffing levels permit.

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Friday:

1:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Saturday, Sunday and Holidays:

1:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Purchase of tags:

Cash, Check or Money Order. Sorry. No Credit Card purchases.

You can purchase pool tags at the following locations:

June 9 – September 7:

At the following Aquatic Facilities:

Banksville     Phillips

Bloomfield    Ream

Highland    Riverview

Homewood    Schenley

Jack Stack    Sheraden

Magee        Sue Murray

McBride    West Penn

Moore         Westwood


Weekdays: 1:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Weekends and Holidays: 1:00 PM – 5:45 PM

Ammon – will not be selling pool tags but you can pay daily admission or purchase your tags at any of the above locations.


You can pay a daily admission fee at any of our locations.  Prices are as follows:

$5.00 for Adults (16 & older)

$3.00 for Children (3 – 15)

Children under 3 are FREE
Other fees:

Daily fee Adults (16+) $5.00 & Adult Pass (city resident, 16+) $30.00

*For more information on Citiparks Aquatics visit,

follow @Citiparks on Twitter or call 412-323-7928.

Family and Individual Pool Tag Application

*Kids Swim FREE with a Recreation Center Membership Pass!

Head of Household:
Last Name First Name
Address: City/Zip Code:
Phone: Neighborhood: Pool You Use Most:
Type of Purchase Print the Name of the PersonWho Will Wear This Tag Type of Tag Adult (age 16+)Youth (age 3-15)Circle One Price Per Tag Circle OneRegular      DPA Total
Adult Youth  $60.00 $30.00 Military Family
Adult Youth       ID#:
Adult Youth
Adult Youth $
Adult Youth $10.00 $4.00
Adult Youth $10.00 $4.00 $
Adult $30.00 $15.00
Adult $30.00      $15.00
Youth $15.00 $7.00
Youth $15.00 $7.00 $
Active Veteran Free ID #:
Adult $20.00
Adult Youth $45.00
Adult Youth $45.00 $
Total $
Check or money order made payable to: Treasurer, City Of Pittsburgh for the total. For the public assistance discount, provide a case printout as proof that you & your family live in the City Of Pittsburgh and receive welfare.  For City of Pittsburgh residents who are disabled veterans and families of active duty military and activated reservist/guard members, pool tags are available at no cost.  Proper ID is required.

Please Do Not Write Below This Line

Clerk Location Date
Adult Tag #’s Youth Tag #’s

Your Citiparks Pool Tags May Be Used At All Citiparks Pools Including The Oliver Bath House During The Off Season.  Citiparks pools will remain open through Labor Day as staffing levels permit.  Pool tags may be revoked for violations of pool rules.  THERE ARE NO REFUNDS.  Replacements for lost or stolen tags must be purchased.  Your tag must be visible at all times.

“I hereby grant full permission to the City of Pittsburgh and any sponsor of this event to use my name, likeness and voice, as well as any photographs, videotapes, motion pictures, recordings or any other of this event in which I may appear for any legitimate purpose including television broadcasting of this event, the reuse of any media of this broadcast and in advertising and promotion for such broadcast and reuse.”

Good news and bad news for Hill District’s water polo

Great water polo session again at the Thelma Lovette YMCA. Some of the kids are turning into regulars and are getting much better at ball control.

Water polo at the Thelma Lovette YMCA is going to continue throughout the summer on Friday nights. All are welcome to attend. Kids under 18 should come with an adult on the first night to be signed into the building. There is no charge for entry to the Y for our water polo program on Friday nights.

The Thelma Lovette Y is indoors. Games happen rain or shine.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Ammon Pool, an outdoor 50-meter pool just 5 blocks or so up from the Thelma Lovette YMCA, is going to be closed for the weeks to come. It might open in August. Hope so.

Swimmer at Ammon Pool, when there was water.

Swimmer at Ammon Pool, when there was water.

Hill District Pool Closed For Summer After New Filtration System Mistakenly Shipped To Middle East
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Kids in the city’s Hill District neighborhood will have to find another place to go swimming this summer.

Officials with the city announced Friday that Ammon Pool will likely not be open at all this season after a new water filtration system was mistaken shipped to the Middle East instead of Pittsburgh.

The new, custom-built water filtration system was going to replace the 80-year-old tanks that were removed from the pool earlier this spring.

The filtration system cleans the pool water continuously.

However, officials say when the new tanks were shipped last month, already after a lengthy delay, they were put on a container ship that went to the Middle East and is not due to return to the United States till late summer.

Construction is underway on new tanks, but the city says it’s unlikely that production, shipping and installation can occur before Aug. 1.

In the meantime, city officials are urging families to use any of the other four nearby pools – Bloomfield, Sue Murray in the North Side, Ormsby on the South Side and the West Penn pool in Polish Hill.

“The loss of Ammon pool for the 2015 Summer season is saddening, especially given the implementation of Citiparks’ new free swimming program for city kids,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Director Jim Griffin in a press release. “Despite the setback, Ammon will remain an important resource for Hill District residents with our summer camp, baseball academy and meals program Grub Up starting soon.”

City officials say there is still a “small chance” the tanks could be delivered in time for some swimming at the pool, but add that it’s unlikely.

For more information on the swimming pools in the city, visit the CitiParks website here.

Meanwhile, Allegheny County pools are set to open for the season on Saturday. Pools in Boyce Park, North Park, Settlers Cabin and South Park are open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The county Spray Parks in Deer Lakes and Round Hill also open Saturday. They will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Thanks for the above photo to Owen. He can get in the water next week we hope. Owen is a new staff member for Swim & Water Polo Camp as part of Summer Dreamers. Other staff members are strongly encouraged to come to the pool on Friday nights too.