Statistics show that over 86 million people went swimming in the United States in the last year. The Christiansburg Aquatics Center and the Virginia Tech swim team hope to increase those numbers here in the New River Valley amongst children under the age of 12.
Two events next month will introduce the sport to those individuals who might not normally have a chance to put their toes in the water.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says swimming is the fourth most popular recreational activity in the U.S. and is the most popular activity for children and teens (7-17)
The United States Olympic swimming team has dominated the competition over the past decade, and many of those athletes have become a common name. Michael Phelps is one of those household names as he continued his winning ways in the pool.
The question is how to get more children involved and into the water.
The CAC has taken the first step by holding free swimming lessons for elementary age children for the past two years.
Director Terry Caldwell believes that instruction will give the youngsters the skills to avoid drowning and maybe convince them to become more involved in local swim teams.
Virginia Tech has been a partner in the CAC since its opening, and organizers believe the October special events are just another way to broaden that relationship.
On Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 a.m., the Hokies will host an intra-squad meet with a free clinic for both youngsters and adults. There will be a poster contest with prizes for spectators, an activity sheet to educate everyone about the sport itself, a biggest splash contest to follow the meet and free pizza for clinic participants.
Then on October 20, the facility and university will host the VT Sprint Challenge with a pre-meet tailgate and live disc jockey, food trucks and poster signing by the Hokie swim and dive team.
Again, all of the activities are free and open to the public.
The H20kies will start their competition schedule the weekend of October 13-14 at Duke with Florida State before returning home for the Virginia Tech Sprint Challenge the following weekend with Queens, VMI and Liberty.
For more information, visit www.cacpool.com or call 381-8618.