To the Editor:
Swim club was one of few sports I did not participate in growing up. I was not introduced to swimming until our four-year-old son joined the Creston Wave Swim Club. I have been most impressed with swim club for many reasons.
Swim club provides the benefits of both individual and team sports. I love that swimming celebrates achieving personal best times as much or more than what place a swimmer came in. The ribbon given when a personal best time is achieved is larger and fancier than the place ribbons. Although swimming is mostly an individual sport, there is also a strong sense of team. Swimmers can participate on relay teams, as well as participate in team building activities during the summer, such as hikes, mini golfing and movie nights. At swim meets, the team aspect is prevalent as they cheer each other on and have fun while waiting for their events.
Swimming is important for children’s health and safety. Learning how to swim is, of course, imperative for safety around water, but what swim club provides that swimming lessons do not is strength and endurance. If there were an accident on the water, I am confident that my children will not only have the ability to swim but also the strength to stay in or get out of the water if needed. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise with very minimal risk of injury that they can continue for life.
One of the unique aspects of swimming is the multi-age grouping and the role modelling this provides. Although there are two practice times for junior and senior swimmers, often there are senior swimmers who volunteer and help with the junior practice. Last year while watching our son play soccer during a morning dryland practice, I remember thinking how lucky he was to be surrounded by such great older role models, both as athletes and students. Since joining swim club, I have watched our current head coach progress from participant, volunteer with the junior swimmers and assistant coach to head coach.
Some may be afraid to join swimming because of the time commitment. One of the great aspects of swimming is that you can compete in as many or as few swim meets as you want. Swim meets are held in Creston, Trail, Salmo, Grand Forks, Kimberley, Castlegar and Colville, Wash. Practices are held Monday to Thursdays, with some morning practices starting in July. We have missed many practices over the last few seasons due to conflicts with other sports, vacations or just wanted a day at the lake. With over 70 practices in the season I know that even if we miss a few we are still getting our money’s worth.
All ages are welcome. The youngest division is age six and under. Swimmers in this division swim one length across the pool and can have another swimmer in the pool with them for assistance. There is no prerequisite to know any of the swim strokes; coaches are there to teach them.
I feel lucky that my children have such a great opportunity here in Creston and hope more will join this wonderful team.