By: Olivia Wile
Once again, the University of Findlay Men’s and Women’s Swim and Dive team are sticking to what they know best, swimming. This week, the team begins their fifth year conducting an annual lessons program.
As the lessons act as the team’s primary fundraiser, Head Coach, Andrew Makepeace is excited about the programs growth over the years.
“We’ve revamped our program this past summer to better facilitate the needs of children in our community,” Makepeace states. “We want to provide the community with the opportunity to develop life skills, which is what swimming ultimately is.”
Coach Makepeace emphasizes how important it is to learn how to swim early on.
“You are 90% less likely to drown if you learn how to swim at a young age, that’s from USA swimming,” Makepeace states. “Most of the people on our team have been swimming in some capacity most of their life so they have all the necessary skills to provide good structure and fundamentals, Makepeace explains.”
Sophomore Lauren Blanchard is among the swimmers who will be helping out with lessons again this year.
“They learn the basics and fundamentals of survival swimming, like your floats and staying on top of the water,” Blanchard states.
Although the swim lessons work as a big fundraiser for the team, Senior Emma Barnes explains that is not the primary focus of the team.
“Teaching kids is important because it gives them a lot of life lessons. They learn how to work hard because swimming is not an easy sport.” Barnes states. “I look forward to coming to teaching them everyday and listening about their day at school.”
The team will be conducting 11 sessions of lessons this fall as well as more in the spring. This past summer, the team offered a 12-week swim lessons program for the first time.
Coach Makepeace estimates the team will accommodate around 230-250 kids this fall alone.
When asked if she was excited to begin teaching lessons again Blanchard states, “Yes, just because I get to see the kids from last year and see how they progress.”