Whether looking to learn how to enjoy one of summer’s quintessential activities or exploring its more competitive aspects, Harker’s Summer Swim School had something to offer to swimmers of every skill level. The summer-long program, which started in mid-June and ended the first week of August, offered swim lessons for individuals and groups, as well as a junior swim team camp for students in grades 2-8 that introduced enthusiastic swimmers to competitive swimming.
The program took place at the upper school campus’ Singh Aquatic Center, whose 75-by-112.5-foot pool and 13 swimming lanes offered an ideal spot for learning swimmers. “There are not many places in the Bay Area that you can get private lessons in such a beautiful facility,” said swim school director Melissa Dondero. Swim lessons were offered at 10 different skill levels to accommodate the widest possible range of swimmers, and were designed to be safe and supportive in addition to helping swimmers build skills in a sensible order.
The Junior Swim Team program grew significantly this year, with roughly 15 students per week participating, Dondero said. This program is for students who are interested in learning key principles of competitive swimming, but haven’t yet decided if they’d like to compete and are “a little bit nervous about what that means,” she explained. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, swimmers participated in dry-land warm-ups before heading into the water to work on stroke technique, endurance and other important aspects of competition.
The benefits of the Junior Swim Team program extend beyond the pool. “I play competitive soccer and it’ll really help my endurance,” said Chance Hewitt, grade 6. He added that he was able to reduce the time it takes him to run a mile by three minutes. Henry Cuningham, grade 7, enjoyed the freestyle swimming. “It’s just fun to have it be a competitive sort of environment with your friends,” he said.