GREENWOOD, NS - There are many benefits for young swimmers involved in a club like the Greenwood Dolphins, perhaps most importantly having fun.
Nine-year-old Brooklyn Brown of Greenwood said she joined the Dolphins Swim Club last year. She said the coaches have been a lot of help and she’s learned a lot. Brown really likes learning new strokes and becoming a better swimmer. She also enjoys getting to visit different places.
When asked what she likes most about swimming, she said, “It’s all great.” It’s good exercise and she enjoys meeting new friends through the club. Brown said she was enjoying the meet hosted by the Dolphins on Feb. 25.
12-year-old James Reinhart of Kingston said he enjoys swimming and has been involved in the club for four or five years. He agreed that the coaches are very helpful.
“The best thing about being in the club probably has to be meeting new friends and having fun swimming,” Reinhart said.
He said hosting a meet at their home pool is great. It allowed him to approach the event with confidence, as he knows the pool very well. Reinhart said being involved in the club provides a lot of opportunity to meet new people with similar interests and to make new friends.
Interim head coach Sheri Deutsch said the Feb. 25 event wasn’t as much an age specific meet as an abilities specific meet. The Dolphins had more than 30 Novatech level and novice level swimmers involved, ranging in age from six to 12.
“The Novatechs are your newest children to the sport, normally your youngest, and the whole focus on this is to get them used to swim meet etiquette…it’s sort of getting them used to the competitive environment,” Deutsch said.
Following an athlete development model, Swim Nova Scotia has certain benchmarks that swimmers must meet in a competition setting before they are able to progress. Once they meet time standards in particular swims, they then go on to higher-level meets.
Deutsch said that for the younger swimmers, meets are about having fun and solidifying skills in a non-practice but low-pressure setting.
“It’s a good sport for youngsters because developmentally it’s appropriate, they’re not doing anything dangerous that they’re going to hurt themselves with or damage themselves skeletally,” she said.
Swimming helps teach children to follow directions, they get to be active with friends and it isn’t an expensive sport at the beginner level.
“This is just another venue for them to improve their physical literacy and improve their motor skills,” she said.
Deutsch said it’s important to recognize that hosting any sort of swim meet is a huge team and community effort requiring volunteers. There were several parents and older swimmers from the club involved on Feb. 25.
Swimmer and volunteer coach Gabrielle Baker said they don’t have a lot of room to host meets for the older swimmers but hosting the younger kids means a lot to the club – and it’s a lot of fun. She said the younger club members are familiar with their home pool, which gives them a little bit of an advantage, and they were performing well at the Feb. 25 meet.
For more information on the Greenwood Dolphins Swim Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org.