Summer swim leagues are unlike any other activity for children!! Swimming is a life skill that will impact their comfort and abilities in the water forever. It’s a whole-body workout that builds strength in the arms, legs, and core. It involves learning coordination, focus, and perseverance. Not only do children learn the skills of swimming, but they also participate simultaneously in both an individual and team sport. Kids can work towards individual goals like learning a new stroke, achieving best times, winning a dual meet race, or qualifying for the tri-county championships. And they also get to be part of team objectives, like racing in relays, winning dual meets, and trying to beat a cross-town rival. Swimming in the summer offers a unique environment where time with teammates doesn’t stop when practice ends or competitions finish. It builds stronger friendships because kids are both working towards common goals and playing at the club during the day and on weekends.  

Swimming creates a diversity of relationships for children. In addition to the coaches, the swim team involves a lot of parental assistance from meet officials to timers and other volunteers that get to know the kids on the team as the year goes on. More importantly, the little kids share a team with the older kids. How many sports have seventeen and eighteen-year-olds cheering for kids ten years younger because they share an objective? Kids learn to help each other out. Older swimmers teach the younger ones how to swim. They encourage them when a big race is approaching. And they build relationships that transcend the season.

Summer swimming is about belonging to a team that has fun together. Charleston may never be the best team. We are the smallest club in Cherry Hill. But we rival anyone for enthusiasm and camaraderie. From pep rallies to team events, to the cheers that we do together before the meet, to the parade at Cherry Bowl and team banquet, kids experience being a part of something bigger than themselves yet still with individual growth in mind.

Why join? What I know from my kids is that their experiences in summer swimming have positively shaped who they have become, how they treat others, and how they have learned to lead from those that came before them. It is one of the highlights of their childhood.  And for that, I am so thankful that we did!

A Swim Team Parent