The High School swim season has begun in central Virginia. The Richmond region continues to grow stronger in aquatics and there is a great example apparent in the continuous addition of high school teams throughout the region.
SwimRVA is at the forefront of boosting aquatics in the Richmond region, currently hosting six high schools that hold practices at its facility – Meadowbrook, Matoaca, L.C. Bird, Trinity, Richmond Christian and Collegiate. The pool lanes at the Collegiate School Aquatics Center are filled with high school swimmers early in the morning, late afternoon and into the evening. To witness the many young swimmers as they practice at the facility instills inspiration and reassures the progress being made towards a safer and more active RVA.
A huge step was taken last year when the Chesterfield County School Board approved club swimming for all County high schools. Club level sports are run and funded by students and parents, but are deemed official team sports of Chesterfield County public schools. The number of students, involved in SWIMChesterfield club teams, have grown over 45% in the last year from 250 kids to an astonishing 363; and every high school in the County is represented. The approval is evidence of the enthusiasm local parents and students have for swimming. The addition of club teams point to an increasing trend of the rapidly growing aquatics culture in RVA.
Chesterfield is following the lead of Henrico County who approved club swimming three years ago. This year, Henrico County has elevated their swim teams to full Virginia High School League member teams and will compete for state championships in their respective divisions. The first official VHSL sanctioned high school swim meet between Henrico schools took place on Tuesday, November 29th with the Godwin Eagles hosting the Henrico Duals meet at CSAC. Godwin was one of the first to push for club swimming three years ago. As of today, Godwin, Freeman, Deep Run, J.R. Tucker, and Glen Allen all have VHSL sanctioned varsity swim teams.
In addition, the city of Richmond has two, second year high school swim programs being held at George Wythe and Armstrong high school which brings the total to seventeen (17) public high school swimming programs in Richmond in the last three years. Together these schools provide over 600 student athletes an opportunity to compete, train and participate. This is an incredible accomplishment for a region that had no public high school swimming in Henrico, Chesterfield or the City of Richmond in 2013. The increased activity of high school swimming in the area is a direct correlation to Richmond’s progressive aquatic community.
SwimRVA aims to change lives through aquatics. High school swimming opportunities are keeping our young people engaged in learning core values of courage, persistence, success, truthfulness and dignity. SwimRVA works to instill these same values for every Richmond resident across the age, race, disability and race spectrum.
SwimRVA is not alone but rather a small part of a regional network of businesses and non-profit organizations that are working together on a campaign for a safer and healthier Richmond community. Together Richmond is becoming more physically active, engaged and confident around the water. Not a terrible idea for a City voted as America’s Best River Town.