SWAC leads the way in local water safety

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Sandpoint West Athletic Club is a community hub for fitness enthusiasts of all types, but swimmers in particular — from beginners to veterans — can find a home there.

Sandpoint Middle School students practice saving a “distressed swimmer” at SWAC last Thursday. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert.

Last week, the pool echoed with rambunctious pre-teen banter as Sandpoint middle schoolers took part in SWAC’s middle school swim safety program.

“It’s pretty hectic, but these guys are really fun to work with,” said SWAC Aquatics Director Mike Brosnahan during one of the in-pool sessions. “They have a lot of great energy.”

Brosnahan said each spring, every student goes through a safety seminar in the classroom and then gets to practice safe swimming in SWAC’s pool. SWAC owner Don Helander said the lessons are free for the students thanks to funding from the Long Bridge Swim.

“SWAC works closely with the Long Bridge Swim, Lake Pend Oreille School District and the City of Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Department toward achieving our common goals of helping non-swimmers learn to swim, teaching water safety, eliminate needless drownings and promoting swimming as a life sport,” Helander said.

Brosnahan said the middle school program is particularly important because it may be his last chance to help a local child gain the knowledge they need to recreate safely.

“Once they’re in ninth grade, I’ll never know if they don’t know how to swim or not,” he said. “This way we can target the kids who don’t know how to swim, get them swim lessons.”

SWAC offers swim lessons for people of all ages and skill levels. To keep up to date on the lesson schedule, visit sandpointwest.com/health-and-wellness/aquatics/swim-schedule or call the front desk at (208) 263-6633.

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