Read Mountain and Hunting Hills competed on Monday night June 25 at Read Mountain Swim Club. The kids were cute, the older youth and teens were fabulous swimmers and the adults proved they still love swimming and do it well.
The Read Mountain Muskies are the second largest swim team in numbers in the Roanoke Valley Aquatic Association. They have 165 swimmers. 35 of them are 6 and under, 68 swimmers are under the age of 8!
One little boy in the under 6 age group struggled to finish his heat. A teen coached him along the sideline, encouraging him every stroke as the little fellow bobbed along. The parents and other swimmers said words, “Like keep trying,” “You can do it” to get him through. Once his hand touched the end of the pool, the entire crowd broke into a cheer.
It was a magical moment of what the sport of a swim team at a community pools means. Encouragement, but also a sense of belonging to the neighborhood in a enjoyable activity. Something that may be lost if the Read Mountain Swim Club is closed due to a proposed development on the property.
Interestingly, Kit Williams who coaches James River High School’s swim team and has been a VHSL 1A Coach of the Year, works with the under RMM under 6 group along with other volunteers. She has been coaching at the Swim Club for 6 years.
“This is so terrific.” said Marcie Wofford who acted as a judge for the young swimmers. Later she swam and won her heat. The beauty of the swim team is all ages are able to participate. Rodney Spickard, the Commissioner of the Revenue, was there with his two children.
Two swim team members Marilyn and Julia who attend Roanoke Catholic said they enjoy the sport. Marilyn said, ” I have been on the team with my friend for two years. Julia reported that she has been swimming there for 6 years.
The evening stretched into almost darkness before the meet finished and all heats were completed.