Swim club enjoys growth, launches summer lessons

If success of a sport is measured by participation, Kachemak Swim Club is definitely succeeding.

“We had a 40 percent growth over last year, going from 70 to 103 swimmers,” said Thaddaeus Gunther of the nonprofit youth sports organization.

If success is measured by results, one glance at Saturday’s 2017 Spring Splash Invite results and the numerous top finishing KSC times makes it clear the club’s swimmers know what they’re doing.

“We’ve had some incredible growth and our swimmers were so much more successful this year,” said Dana Jaworski, assistant coach and swim instructor. “We were area champs this year and that’s a big accomplishment. That’s for all the teams on the peninsula, boys and girls combined.”

Giving a statewide perspective, Gunther said, “We placed tenth at the Alaska championship meet. Pretty much the only clubs ahead of us are Anchorage and Fairbanks and perhaps Kodiak.”

Gunther credits Jaworski for much of the club’s membership growth.

“She’s really great at communicating with parents, is a really great assistant coach and really good at recruiting and retention,” said Gunther.

“It takes awhile to get the ball rolling, but once parents see the consistency in a program, I think that’s the main thing. If you have consistency, then parents are apt to bring their kid if they know what to expect.”

Jaworski sees swimming as an avenue for improving physical wellbeing and teaching valuable life skills.

“It’s really good for core strength development and becomes like a family because it’s a very challenging sport. We really push the kids and they learn to rely on each other. I’m amazed at the lifelong friendships that are found on a swim team. That’s where it all begins,” she said.

“As far as what it can offer a kid, it teaches all four competitive strokes — butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle — and looks to train character as well as create more champions.”

If success is measured by enthusiastically encouraging the sport, then Kachemak Swim Club wins again. They are managing the summer swimming lesson program at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center.

Registration is currently underway, with Jaworski, Elysha Chapple, Rebecca Hardy and Jan Rumble instructing.

Classes begin June 5. Classes are 40 minutes in length, Monday through Thursday, run for two weeks and cost $85. Online registration is encouraged.

“You just go to kachemakswim.org and click on the lesson tab and it will prompt you to fill out the info,” said Gunther.

Registration also can be done by calling Jaworski. Her phone number is available on the aquatic center bulletin board.

In addition, tryouts for the Kachemak Swim Club are held every month. The club’s competitive season begin in November and continues through May.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@gmail.com.