Parents create summer swim league for children

Published 8:23 am Friday, June 6, 2014

Special weather warning: A typhoon is hitting Elizabethton with expected landfall at the Elizabethton High School Photo by Brandon Hicksswimming pool.
But there’s no reason to be alarmed. This typhoon is perfectly harmless. In fact, this typhoon is beneficial. It’s the Elizabethton Typhoon Summer Swim Program.
A group of Elizabethton parents created the swim league for their children to participate in during the summer break.
Parent organizer Rebecca Powers said a program was offered last year, but the coach was unable to continue the summer swim league this year.
“The parents figured out a way to make it happen,” Powers said. “We were able to hire a certified swim coach with 5 years’ experience working with children for the summer and lifeguards. The Elizabethton City School system has supported this and has allowed us to use the high school pool.”
Where did the name come from?
“We are typhoons because we are cyclones over water,” she said.
Powers said the program was open to swimmers of all ages. The only requirement is swimmers must be able to swim independently, without the use of flotation devices, from one end of a 25-meter pool to the other.
“This is not a learn-to-swim program,” she said. “This is a learn to swim better program.”
The Elizabethton Typhoon Swim Program is under the direction of Marlee Jennings, a certified swim coach with experience working with younger swimmers.
Powers said the program’s sessions would follow an outline of an organized warm-up of swimming laps and practicing strokes, followed by lessons that cover areas that will help swimmers swim more efficiently and effectively. The participants will then have time to practice those skills followed up with free play until the program is concluded.
“Children don’t have to be able to swim great,” Powers said. “They just have to be able to make it from one end to the other. Last year, there were children who could barely doggy paddle from one end of the pool to the other. They left the program as competent swimmers.”
Powers said the goal of the program was to help swimmers improve their swimming skills so they will safe when participating in water activities. Also, parents would like to see a permanent swim league established in Elizabethton.
“This is about improving the health and wellness of the community,” she said. “Swimming is a great exercise and the children will be active through the summer.”
She said the Elizabethton Typhoon Summer Swim Program was not limited to any set age group. The program started Thursday and will last for eight weeks.
The cost is $100 for the first child in a family, and $25 for each additional child.
For more information, visit the program’s Facebook page by searching for Elizabethton Typhoon Summer Swim Program on the social media site.

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