The new Rosen Aquatic & Fitness Center (RAFC) officially opened in Orlando, Fla., on April 13, setting the stage for many more years of aquatic competitions and fitness just minutes from the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).
Named in honor of hospitality industry icon and philanthropist Harris Rosen, RAFC is considered integral to central Florida’s meetings and tourism industry. Rosen, an avid daily swimmer and former master’s swimming champion, has supported the former YMCA and Special Olympics athletes who use the facility. Rosen was gifted the center from the YMCA of Central Florida last October, saving the 35-year-old facility from certain closure because of the pandemic.
The RAFC boasts one of only seven indoor performance diving rooms in the country and is known as one of the fastest tanks in the nation. The 10-meter dive tower and 50-meter competition pool transition from indoor to outdoor with a first-of-a-kind hydraulic retractable roof.
More than 50 aquatic competitions are expected to be held at RAFC, including the National Club Swimming Association (NCSA) National Championships, and the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, June 5-12, 2022.
For the 2022 USA Games, more than 300 swimmers from 48 state programs, Aruba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas will compete.
The local community will also benefit through memberships and Orlando visitors can use the facility when in town at an affordable rate. Local hospitality employees will also receive special discounts.
“Ultimately our goal is to be an inspiring fitness center to support the community and visitors with their wellness goals, while continuing to be a world-class facility where athletes of all ages and levels from around the world come to enhance their aquatic abilities,” Rosen said.
In recent months, the RAFC has undergone a deep cleaning and multiple renovations, bringing the facility up to the personal standards of Rosen. The facility also committed to heightened safety and wellness protocols.
In addition to the competition pools, the facility includes a fitness center named in honor of Rosen’s son Adam who passed away at the age of 26 from glioblastoma. The center offers 60 machines, free weights, racquetball courts, and locker rooms.
Group exercise classes, drowning prevention, and swimming will be offered as part of the regular membership offerings.