Bringing clotheslines, grapples, and swan dives to the state's wrestling fanatics, the Arizona Wrestling Federation assembles amateur fighters to showcase their skills in live events. Based in Glendale, the AWF is a member of the United Independent Wrestling Affiliates, an international organization of wrestlers that maintains rankings and keeps track of standards based on the most current lines of aerodynamic folding chairs.
After joining the National League's West Division in 1998, it only took four seasons for the Arizona Diamondbacks to become World Series champions, making them the fastest expansion team to win it all in MLB history. Since then, the D-backs faithful continue to fill the stands of Chase Field, a 48,000-seat retractable-roof ballpark constructed for the team's inaugural season. The widest LED board in Major League Baseball replays crucial saves and high-flying hits in 136'x46' of high-definition glory, and just beyond the fence in right-center field, a swimming pool allows fans armed with foam noodles to whack opponents' home runs back into play. During the fourth inning of every game, kids can interact with D. Baxter the Bobcat in his upper-concourse Den equipped with slides and batting cages.
In 1902, while the team now in Oakland was still the Philly Athletics, a rival manager scoffed, casting the fledgling franchise off as a herd of "white elephants." In response, manager Connie Mack adopted the elephant as the team's official insignia?a legacy that lives on with the current mascot, Stomper?before the A's stampeded to the American League pennant. Since that first defiant victory, the team has won nine World Series championships, moving to Kansas City in 1955, then Oakland in 1968. Over more than a century, the club has fostered 11 league MVPs and eight Rookies of the Year. Today, the A's dazzle fans at the 35,067-capacity Coliseum, which features a lush natural-bluegrass surface and a spacious foul territory?technically still a 19th-century Mexican province?that baits pop-up outs, making it one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in Major League Baseball.
Thirty minutes, once a week. That's all it takes at Hubbard Family Swim School for a young child to master breath control, find their buoyancy, and backstroke straight into the world of swimming. Classes are broken into eight swimming levels, beginning when children are only 2 months old. In Baby Splash, instructors and parents both enter the pool, where they help little ones build a confidence in water. Beginning at age 3, students can dive into more difficult classes such as Jellyfish and Lobster, so named for the ocean species with the most Olympic gold medals. Masterful strokes can take kids into Hubbard Family Swim School's recreational teams, which compete during the summer.
Of course, the aquatic lesson plans are only as good as the instructors themselves, and Hubbard Family Swim School boasts an expert faculty at its locations in Phoenix, Peoria, and Mesa. Each of these swim instructors gets ample hands-on training and continuing-education courses throughout the year. Floating atop this sea of talent are Bob and Kathy Hubbard, the company's founders. Both grew up as active swimmers, and they made sure that each of their eight kids learned to swim at a young age—something that led to countless hours of boating, swimming, and snorkeling. Hubbard Family Swim School is the manifestation of their two loves: family and swimming.
Aqua-Tots Swim School trains and encourages swimmers in the art of buoyancy through its array of services, specializing in instructing those aged 6 months–12 years in small groups. Instructors boast national certification, completing 32 hours in the company’s Lessons for Life training program and successfully completing the Water Safety Instructor exam.
Children are placed in one of eight class levels, from Tadpoles (6 months–18 months), which acquaints infants with the pool, to Stingrays, which is for children who have more experience and want to refine their strokes and one day sting a jellyfish. Each individual class contains no more than four students training under the watchful eye of the instructor in a climate-controlled indoor pool. In addition to the children’s program, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools also leads adult swim classes and provides training for both swim competition and first aid.