By Leila Dycus staff writer
For the first time in Morgan County swimming history coaches and other team members lead a camp for youth. The swim camp ran from June 23 to June 27. Swimmers came together at 10 a.m. in and were picked up at 12:30 p.m. In it’s first year the camp had 12 participants. Coaches Steve DeLaigle and Susan Courchaine lead the camp. “The campers learn the four competitive swimming strokes- freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly stroke as well as proper starts and turns,” said Coach Courchaine. Each day of camp began in the video room where the coaches showed the kids instructional videos for the stroke they would be learning that day.
Swimmers then made their way to the pool deck where they stretched and prepared to swim. The children were broken down into small groups. The swimmers then participated in doing different drills, which helped them to learn the strokes. After the campers had plenty of time to practice the stroke of the day they played swimming games and had races for fun. “My favorite part of the camp is seeing the kids enthusiasm when they master something new,” said Courchaine. Courchaine went on to say that this group of kids in particular has enjoyed working on diving. For many of the children last week was the first time they had ever dived.
By the end of the week many of them were diving from the starting block. The kids have been responding very well to the camp. This group has shown positive attitudes through out the week. They are building self-confidence with their new skills. “I hope the kids develop a love of swimming as a source of recreation, exercise and sport,” said Courchaine. “I also hope that these kids will want to join the Morgan County Marlins recreation swim team.” The ultimate goal for camps like the one lead by high school coaches and team member is to grow the swim teams in Morgan County.
Coach Courchaine said she would like to see more kids join the Marlins and continue on with the sport into high school. One thing that is important to know for kids who are interested in getting involved in swimming is that it is a lot of hard work but it can be very rewarding. Swimming is for all types of kids. Children don’t have to be the biggest or the strongest person in their class to be a great swimmer. “Developing good stroke technique is the key to swimming success,” said Courchaine. “This week’s little group of campers as well on their way to becoming super swimmers.”