For the past six weeks, Fiona’s PreK class at Germantown Academy has been doing swimming lessons twice a week at the GA pool. She’s been VERY lucky to have the legendary Coach Dick Shoulberg and the champion swimmer and Olympian-in-training Fran Crippen as her swim teachers.
In the first session, the asked if anyone already knew how to swim, and of course Fiona said yes. That made her a “deep-ender.” The deep-enders (at first there were only two, but by the end of the six weeks, there were four or five) would do their warm-ups with the rest of the class on the platform in the shallow end, and then go down to the deep end for their lessons with Coach Crippen in the water and Coach Shoulberg watching from the pool deck.
The deep-enders worked on crawl and backstroke and did laps across the width of the pool. Sometimes they did races (Fiona claims to have ALWAYS won. That hasn’t been independently confirmed.) Sometimes they used kickboards or floats and they seemed to really like that, but Fiona’s favorite part was toward the end of class when they got to jump off the diving board.
I helped out a couple of times in the shallow end with the less experienced swimmers, so I didn’t get to see too much of what Fiona was doing. One day, Coach Shoulberg came down to the shallow end and asked if I was Fiona’s mother. When I said yes, he said something along the lines of, “I don’t care what sport Fiona wants to do, but she’s going to be swimming with me.” (I’m not sure, but I think Fiona just got recruited.)
When I got there today, to take photos of the last day of swimming, at least five children and three adults made it a point to tell me about Fiona’s flip off the board. Since today was the last day of class, they got extra free swim, so Fiona got to do many flips off the board. For the first time, they were also allowed to use the ropes. A couple of the deep enders were a bit hesitant and elected to just jump off the blocks into pool, but wild girl Fiona grab the rope, swung high in the air and flung herself into the pool over and over.
And to top off a great day of swimming, they got popsicles from Coach Shoulberg to celebrate the end of the session.
CLICK HERE for more photos of fishy Fiona