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 RPS and Rockford Marlins announce partnership

 Flinn Middle School now home of the Rockford Marlins

SEPT. 4, 2013 – Rockford Public Schools is working with the Rockford Marlins Swim Club in a new partnership to help RPS students become top-notch swimmers.

The club benefits from the partnership by having access to RPS facilities – the Marlins’ program will be based at Flinn Middle School. Additionally, Flinn has already benefited from the Marlins’ new home. The Marlins, RPS and a private donor have collaborated on swimming pool improvements, including new starting blocks. The district benefits from the program by having direct access to a high-caliber program so students can continue training in the off-season.

The two programs don’t compete for students, they complement each other, said Anthony Cacciatore, president of the Rockford Marlins Swim Club. Students who participate in the Marlins Swim Club get more pool and practice time outside of the regular RPS swim season, so RPS athletes can enhance their skills during the off-season.

Mat Parker, the district’s Director of Athletic Activities and Program Development, said the partnership will help RPS to rebuild its swim program and perhaps recapture its domination in swimming and diving. It also helps the Marlins by providing pool space, which is hard to find.

Flinn Principal Randy Bay said the partnership illustrates what he’d like to see more of in Rockford: The community using RPS facilities year-round. “It’s important to be a community-based school,” Bay said. Activities start well before the first school bell and continue into the evening – not just for Flinn and RPS students but for community organizations, too, he added.

For more information about the Rockford Marlins, visit

For media interviews, please contact:
Anthony Cacciatore, President of the Rockford Marlins Swim Club:
Mat Parker, Director of Athletic Activities and Program Development:

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Rockford Public Schools offer a rich and varied curriculum to its 28,000 students. It is one of the largest school districts in Illinois and the second-largest employer in the Rockford region. The district focuses on Readiness Rocks, five initiatives aimed at improving student achievement, making best use of resources and making RPS 205 a desirable and successful school district. Those initiatives are: College and Career Readiness, Seven Periods to Success, 21st Century Learning Environments, Preschool for All and College for All.
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