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River Otters dive into new season

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May 24, 2011 | 1,431 views | Post a comment

Swimmers, take your mark, set, and go! The River Otters will be diving off the new starting blocks starting June 7 at 9 a.m. Once they hit the water, the new lane lines will keep them on a straight path to the end of the pool. Thanks to our great sponsors over the past seven years, the River Otters swim team has purchased new dive blocks, lane lines, and sponsors more than 30 swimmers.

The River Otters is part of the Boys & Girls Club of Wilson County. Each summer, the group takes 50 swimmers for the team. It serves children ages 5-18 who are able to swim the length of the pool in any stroke they wish. The key to swimming this lap is moving forward and putting their face in the water, and the stroke they choose will be transformed into a proper stroke by the end of the season. For the kids who are “professed” in a stroke, the club works to increase their endurance and technique.

All swimmers will have a chance to swim at the meets on Saturdays. These optional meets are held at the Natatorium located at 1430 W. Durango in San Antonio, which is an indoor pool. The first few meets are to introduce and prepare the swimmers for the qualifying meet for the city championships. The first- and second-place winners in this meet move on to the state swim meet.

The Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) Summer Games are scheduled for July 27-31 in Waco. To compete at the meets, each swimmer must join TAAF at a cost of $10.

There will be two practices held each Tuesday through Friday morning. The 10 and younger swimmers will practice from 9-10:30 a.m., and the 11 and up swimmers go from 10:15-noon. Each practice begins with stretching, core strength exercise, upper and lower body exercises, and running. Then, it is time to cool off and work on their strokes. Each swimmer will be swimming an average of 18-60 laps. For cool down, the team plays great games with the dive toys and noodles. Saturday meets will be at 8 a.m. Transportation to and from practices and meets is up to each swimmer’s family.

This swim team is run by a great group of volunteers. The volunteer coaches and helpers average 18-20 hours each week helping the children improve their strokes and learn a lifetime fitness routine. If you are interested in helping out, please let the team know. There is a job for everyone on this team.

The cost to become a member of the River Otters swim team is $60, and parents can sign up their children by calling Head Coach Susan Schwartz at 830-393-2644. Each child will receive a swim cap and T-shirt. For more information about TAAF, visit www.Taaf.com.

The team is also in need of sponsors to continue improving the equipment, and to help support the children who are unable to pay the fees. If you would like to sponsor a dive block or lane line, the cost is $300 per item, and a name plaque will be placed on the item. The cost to sponsor a child is $60. For a one-time donation of $125, you can support the River Otters team in general to cover operational costs and team T-shirts.

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