Sunshine lights up the sky on a Tuesday morning in July as young swimmers hit the pool for another day of practice at the Pullum YMCA in Navarre.
YMCA swim team coach Mary Moorer said more than 100 children (112) ages 4 and up are participating on the team and said the number is one of the largest in quite some time.
“Swimming seems to be back on the rise and that’s great to see,” Moorer said. “We have a really good turnout this year and a great group of kids.”
Moorer said part of the reason for the success of the team this year is the fact that the approach has changed. Competition is still part of the equation but it’s not the most important thing.
“We changed how we are doing things,” Moorer said. “We’re going back to focusing more on development and adding in a couple of meets that I know are good ones for the team to compete in. The kids seem to like it a lot better.”
One of the other changes this season is Moorer has a couple of her Navarre High School swimmers helping her out. Senior Zach Sutton and junior Killian Casey are both working with the young swimmers this year.
“A couple of my swimmers are coaching and what it does is keep the high school kids engaged in the summer. It’s a good experience for them.”
Sutton jumps straight into coaching the younger swimmers as soon as his morning workout for the Raiders ends.
“I wake up at 5:20 a.m. every day and head to the pool for practice and then go straight to coaching the little kids,” Sutton said. “I stop home after for like five minutes to eat breakfast and then head to the high school for a two-hour workout.”
But the experience is worth it. Not only is he improving his own swimming skills but he’s helping others improve their skills as well.
Read more in the July 28 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.