The Summer League is an eight-week swim league with seven teams training at each of Santa Clarita’s pools. The league teaches kids the strokes and importance of strong swimming through a competitive lense.
On Saturday, the league hosted their final inter-league meet, which allows kids in the program to qualify for an inter-city swim meet the following week. Each event took the top two qualifying swimmers to advance to next week’s competition.
The children who competed ranged in age from seven to 17, with different age brackets for each event to keep it fair.
“We’re a novice swim program that has an introduction to competitive swimming,” said Juliet Yamauchi, the coach for the Dive Pool Orcas. “We’re trying to introduce them to the sport and find that passion for swimming.”
The program isn’t about winning, it’s about learning something, the coaches said.
“I like to teach my kids good sportsmanship,” said Allison Schepper, coach for the Meadows Marlins. “I want to teach them to fall in love with the sport of swimming. I started out swimming for the summer league. I started swimming with the Santa Clarita Sharks.”
The children participating in the Summer League should walk away with skills that will stay with them for their entire lives, said recreation coordinator Kathryn Lasick.
“Swimming is a lifelong sport. You can compete in it until you’re 99 years old,” Lasick added. “It’s important to teach everyone how to swim, kids and adults because it is a life-saving skill. A lot of these kids move on to the club teams in the valley and end up getting scholarships or work as lifeguards or even become one of our coaches.”
Next week’s LA84 swim festival will welcome other pools from all over Southern California to compete at the Aquatics Center.
The city is still looking for volunteers to help with next week’s event. Those interested can visit the city’s volunteer page at https://santaclaritavolunteers.com/.