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Posted on: September 1, 2017

Avon Recreation Center Swim Program Exceeds Early Expectations

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Avon, CO – The Town of Avon reignited its Recreation Center swim programs in 2017, quickly welcoming more than 200 new swimmers into Learn-to-Swim group lessons. “The high demand for these sessions was exciting,” said John Curutchet, the Town’s Recreation Director.  “We offered the group sessions throughout the summer and will continue through September, October and November to meet demand and interest from area youth,” he observed.  Group lessons were not offered year-round in the recent past.  Fall group lessons begin again on September 5th. The program features weekday and weekend sessions, ranging from first time lessons to a more advanced stroke development curriculum. The Town offers equitable rates for everyone, with financial assistance available.

Curutchet projects that approximately 300 kids will go through the Town’s group Learn-to-Swim lessons this year. As many as 180 Avon Elementary School first, third and fifth grade students, many of whom have never had prior exposure to swim instruction or water safety, will begin lessons this fall.  “Swimming is a basic life skill and with Nottingham Lake and the Eagle River as hometown amenities, teaching children to swim is totally gratifying when thinking what the skill adds to anyone’s recreational opportunities living here,” John stated. 

Equally as exciting, is the growth and success of Avon’s Swim Club. The Swim Club features three different tiers structured to meet all abilities and levels of interest. 

  • Swim Team Prep is designed for the swimmer that is new to swimming with a team.  The focus is on stroke development and fun. 
  • The Recreation Swim Team emphasizes stroke refinement and stroke efficiency with the opportunity to compete at the local level. Swimmers, who would like to test their skill growth, have the opportunity to do so at three local meets over the summer months.
  • Avon’s USA Swimming registered team trains with more intensity and competes year around, attending on average two highly competitive meets per month.  

The competitive swimmers, training and competing under the moniker of the Avon Narwhals, have seen a doubling of participation at swim meets. Head coach Meghan Hershey, who came to Avon from Pennsylvania, graduated from Franklin & Marshall College, with a BA in Psychology. While at F&M, Meghan swam for the college’s NCAA Swim Team, and was Captain her senior year. Meghan is assisted in the Town’s swim programs by four dedicated coaches: Claire Altenau, Cass Jones, Mitch Miller and Austin Stauffer; all skilled in swimmer development by way of positive and supportive sessions.

Avon competitors are benefitting from Meghan’s vast knowledge of the latest training techniques and her inspiring coaching at meets. Swimmers are already experiencing faster times and more podium finishes. Enrollment in private and semi-private lessons, in response to more affordable pricing and Ms. Hershey’s program, have been greater than expected up to this point.

With a Town commitment to parent outreach and communication, parent feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The Avon Swim Club is feeling a long-wanted respect as a legitimate and dynamic USA Club, with committed and dynamic coaching through an organized structure.  The team is an integral member of the Western Slope League and supported by the local Booster Club.   

The Town Council’s direction to staff to build a year-round community swimming program to “ensure that all children in Avon learn to swim” was supported with the ability of the Town to offer financial assistance to qualifying families. Nineteen percent of these new swimmers received financial support, through reduced fees or free enrollment. An approved budget supported underwriting the Town’s full swim program. 

SIGN UP NOW FOR FALL SWIM PROGRAMS

Please visit our website: www.avonrec.org or call the Recreation Department: (970)748-4060

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