PlanetSwim founder and owner Stephan's life is a timeline of aquatic achievements, containing awards that he won as a competitive swimmer as well as several teaching titles—lifeguard trainer and Red Cross–certified swim instructor among them. At PlanetSwim, Stephan holds his staff to similar standards. Each teacher has a minimum of five years of swim-instruction experience and has also been Red Cross–certified. Together, the team channels its knack for tutelage into swim lessons for children and adults of all ages in indoor, heated pools, including the one in Louisville, which is filled with warm water to encourage students to get in.
PlanetSwim's philosophy centers around personal attention, an element that demands small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere. Whether they are leading a 10-minute lesson for a water-shy toddler or an intermediate course on different strokes, the instructors monitor their pupils closely to ensure both comfort and development of technique.
At the Jumpoline Park, the whole family can escape from the everyday stresses of work, school, and gravity. Decked out in rainbow colors, the trampolines send jumpers soaring into the air, giving them the feeling of walking on the moon, where the surface is made of inner-spring mattresses. Jumping teams lob balls at each other in high-flying games in the dodgeball area, and kids age 7 and under leap safely in their own section, protected from injury by padded walls. But this enclave doesn't house just trampolines. Toddlers play in their own soft-surface area, while parents relax under the skilled hands of in-house massage therapists. During breaks, everyone meets up at the coffee shop for a snack or a cup of frozen yogurt.
Derby was reborn in the early 2000s as a ferociously fun sport. Nearly all modern leagues are composed of female, DIY-spirited bands of punky costumed, vicious-monikered rascals who shove each other on traditional quad roller skates. The Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, Denver's original all-women flat-track roller derby league, is operated by the more than 40 skaters who makeup its six teams: home teams Red Ridin' Hoods, Sugar Kill Gang, Dooms Daisies, Kill Scouts, and traveling teams, Fight Club and the Contenders. These fearless athletes leave bouts with sprained shoulders, bruises, and hematomas, which is nothing compared to the competitors' pain (the ladies took home second place in the 2009 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association regional tournament and fourth in the national tournament).
The American Basketball Association has nearly 90 teams. But ever since their founding in 2010, the Colorado Kings have resided amongst the elite, leaving most of the league in their wake. During their inaugural season, the Kings made quite the impression: they went 24-1, and advanced to the ABA's Elite 8 round of the playoffs. Instead of celebrating that success by having all of its players dipped in gold, the team followed up with a record-setting effort in 2011, when it recorded an ABA-best 32 victories in a row. For as much success as the Kings have had on the court, they've also made an impact off of it. The organization's players give back to the community in a number of ways, including by running youth basketball camps and hosting charity golf tournaments.
Driven by a roster of Colorado's top fighters, Prize Fighting Championship gives MMA fans a chance to watch the area's up-and-coming talent in contests held throughout the state. PFC features both male and female brawlers from flyweight to heavyweight classes, and seeks out promising fighters to help spread the sport and protect their octagonal cages from lazy zookeepers who don't want to build their own.
In October 1995, the Colorado Rapids were introduced as one of Major League Soccer’s 10 charter teams. As one of the league's longest tenured members, the organization has brought a number of landmark moments to Denver, highlighted by a MLS Cup victory in 2010. Three years before their championship campaign, the Rapids became the centerpiece of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park—a sprawling complex that features a total of 24 fully lit sports fields. During Rapids matches, fans get swept up in the park’s lively atmosphere driven by Centennial 38, the team's official supporters group. In their designated “Supporter’s Terrace”, C38 members lead raucous cheers and wave massive flags to inspire their side.