Swim Teams Offering Kids the Opportunity for Friendly Competition
For some people, the neighborhood pool is a place to kick back with friends, relax and catch some rays. For others, it’s the site of long practices and fierce competition. That dichotomy of board shorts and pool noodles versus Speedos and swim goggles will be on full display later this month as pools around Tucker open for the summer swim season.
The Tucker area is home to a handful of swim teams including Northumberland, Nottaway, Smoke Rise Country Club, Westhampton/Embry Hills and Winding Vista. Each year, hundreds of young swimmers splash into these pools to compete, forge new friendships and stay active through the summer season.
“As someone who grew up swimming at Winding Vista and Drayton Woods, I can attest to what a difference summer league swimming makes on the community and individuals,” says Evan Nylander.
Nylander’s youth swim days are long past, but he’s still involved, now serving as Director of Operations for the Atlanta Swim Association. What’s unique about swim team, he says, is that you’re learning a skill you can continue to use for your entire life.
“Summer League Swimming is often the first introduction to swimming for kids,” he explains. “A neighborhood swim team brings together the entire community, comprised of kids aged 4-18 all on the same team, where neighbors who might attend different schools all come together under the same neighborhood banner.”
Jason and Lenne Nawyn, and their three children, have been members at their neighborhood pool, Westhampton, for nine years. Jason has coached the joint Westhampton/Embry Hills summer league team for eight years.
“Having a neighborhood swim team provides a fun and exciting environment for kids to engage in healthy competition,” he says. “Swim team teaches both individual persistence and group teamwork. Not only do you race and push against yourself and attempt to better your own time, but you are also part of a bigger team which forces you to learn valuable teamwork skills. You either sink or swim together as team!”
While the kids might not think about it, parents and swim coaches are keenly aware of the dangers involved with inexperienced swimmers. Nylander cites a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that lists accidental drowning as the number two cause of death for children under the age of 14.
“After being part of the swim team and becoming successfully confident about swimming, the entire family is more apt to [safely] enjoy the neighborhood pool throughout the entire summer,” he says.
For parents in search of a way to keep their kids active and perhaps pick up some life skills this summer, those Tucker area swim clubs are ready to welcome you to the team.