Swim team gives lessons to fundraise, help community

Story by Alex Zank, News Editor

The UW-Eau Claire swimming and diving team is again offering swimming lessons to serve two purposes: to offer lessons to people ranging from children to more advanced swimmers, and to raise money to help alleviate some of the team’s individual fees.

The sessions start in April, and several categories are offered. The different lessons offered include Sea Turtles, Parent-Child, Starfish, Sea Horse, Sharks, Competitive and Adult lessons; the different levels are based on age and skill level of the swimmers.

Junior Kristin Peters is the one responsible for coordinating the lessons. The program has traditionally been organized by someone actually on the team, Peters said, instead of one of the coaches or any other event coordinator.

“(Coach Art Brandt) would like us to be involved in the team fundraising,” Peters said. “(The swimmers) all help out and they all teach lessons, so I think it’s really about us coming together and working together.”

Swimmers have individual team fees as well as fees for training trips, sophomore Siri Smith said.

For a first-year swimmer, individual fees are around $210, Smith said, and in the years after that the fee is only $100 a year. She added that the training trips costs around $1,100.

Peters said the swimming lessons are important because it is the main way the swim team gets its funding to help members out with these fees.

Peters also said the community gets something out of the swimming lessons as well.

“I think it’s a good way to help out in the community,” Peters said. “To show that we’re the swim team, we’re here, and we’re willing to help.”

She added the lessons were also a way to help promote the sport itself.

Senior Sara Eggebrecht has, as part of the swimming and diving team, given lessons in the past. She taught children, competitive swimmers and also gave adult lessons. She said that swimmers are more comfortable in the water and make good coaches since they compete in the sport.

Eggebrecht said the lessons provide the team with a chance to get involved a bit in the Eau Claire community as well.

“We’re a division three school that likes to give back a little bit,” she said.

Smith said the lessons offered by the team are helpful to the community because they offer an alternative to other places that offer lessons as well, but may have restrictions or higher costs.

“In my hometown, the only swim lessons that we offer are at the YMCA,” she said. “If you’re not a member, it’s a lot harder to get into them, or it’s a lot more expensive. So it’s something people can do and know that they don’t have to be a member.”

The lessons begin April 1 for the first session. Registration for the first session ends March 28, while session two registration ends April 18, with lessons beginning on April 22.

People interested in taking either of the three-week sessions can register online at blugolds.com under the “Camps and Clinics” section, Smith said.