The Red Deer Marlins are ready to dive into another year of swimming.
Next week the Marlins will dip into the pool for their 46th summer swim season, a 16-week program from May to August for kids from ages five to 17.
The big draw for the program, according to secretary Erika Grobb is the ability to offer both a competitive environment, while also giving families an opportunity to enjoy their summer.
“We approach a summer swim club differently than a year-round season. It’s not that we adjust the focus of the skills that are developed or the approach to competition, but there’s a number of social events that include families and siblings that might not be swimmers yet,” Grobb said.
The flexibility of scheduling also allows people to work around vacations or summer camps and still get a meaningful experience that improves their skills.”
So far for the upcoming year, which starts on May 1, the club has around 80 swimmers registered with room for about 10 more. Grobb noted this year many of those 80 swimmers are new to the club, which always makes for an interesting season.
“You’ve got development years and you’ve got capitalizing years and the opportunity to develop a team as well as individual swimmers is something we’re pretty excited about,” she said.
“We’ve got a number of new coaches, so we’re hoping that they will help share their enthusiasm as well.”
For the younger swimmers especially, using the summer season as a trial period and still allowing some critical development in the pool is key.
“Those that are 10 and younger, giving them a fun way to develop a strong work ethic and a soft, safe introduction to competition,” Grobb added.
“In a way that’s productive and contributes to the overall well-being as a kid, is good and can set a foundation for them when they start to be teenagers or young adults.”
The club is accepting registrations until July 15 and will place swimmers in their appropriate age groups until that time.
They’ll evaluate swimmers from May 1-9, then have their first mini-meet in Red Deer on June 6. They’ll also host a meet on June 15, then regionals will be in Red Deer from August 10-12. Provincials will be in Edmonton from Aug. 17-19.