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SRPMIC Recreational Services Starts Swim Team

After running practice, the SRPMIC Swim Team gets ready to jump in the pool and practice freestyle swimming at the WOLF.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community’s (SRPMIC) Recreational Services Aquatics Division has launched a new program: the SRPMIC Swim Team. The team is made up of 11 youth from ages 5 to 11 who are practicing different swimming techniques and competing in the City of Scottsdale swim meets.

“The idea to create a swim team was proposed by Recreation Athletics Program Manager Michael Douglas,” said Aquatics Manager Kyle Stephens. “He said something to the extent of, ‘Why not us?’ I think it’s a great model to go by what the cities of Scottsdale and Mesa are doing; now we have 11 kids on the first Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Swim Team.”

The season for the swim team started the week after summer break began, with practices held Monday through Thursday in the morning or evening. The season ends the week before schools start back up later in August.

The youth participated in Scottsdale’s swim meets, competing in events such as freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. They also participated in the Splash ‘N’ Dash, which combines swimming laps and running. The number of laps and running distance varied by age group. The final swim meet was the City Championship on July 27 at the Cactus Aquatic & Fitness Center in Scottsdale.

“They’ve been doing good; some of the kids have come up in second place in some of the meets,” said Stephens. “We’re happy that they are out there trying.”

Delicia Martinez, mother of Layla and Lena Martinez, said that the swim team has been a good experience for her daughters. Martinez has been taking them to the swim lessons provided by the Community Recreational Services every year and was excited to hear about the swim team.

“They both decided it was a challenge they wanted to take,” said Martinez. “It got them out of the house and kept them on a schedule this summer, which was nice. At one point Layla was going to both morning and evening practice to get over her fear of diving. It is helping to build perseverance and develop their character in terms of trying team sports, which exciting for us.”

Although the season has ended, the aquatics program would like to see more support from the Community and encourages the youth to participate next season.

For more information on the SRPMIC Swim Team, contact Community Recreational Services at (480) 362-6670 or visit their website at www.srpmic-nsn.gov/government/recreation/.

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