As a mother of three previous competitive swimmers and former president of the Great Bend Swim Team, I am very upset and heartbroken over the possibility of losing the BCCC pool and thus seeing competitive swimming come to an end in Great Bend. That includes summer and winter swimming as well as high school swimming.
Competitive swimming was started back in the 70’s in Great Bend. From that time to the present swimming has grown and benefitted so many children, young people and families. Many of us have worked very hard over the years to build up swimming in our community. Swimming is a sport that can last a lifetime. It not only benefits the body physically but it builds character. I have seen so many children and young people participate in swimming who otherwise wouldn’t be in any other sport. I have seen swimming build self esteem and confidence where there was none. Children have grown up believing in themselves as a result of competitive swimming. I have witnessed that with my own children. The summer and winter swim teams have prepared many young people to compete at the high school level thus benefitting the school and the community. All these swimmers have been blessed by being able to practice indoors at the college pool, regardless of the weather.
Many parents through the years have become involved with the swim program. They have been starters, timers, lane judges, referees, score keepers, etc. The have driven their children to swim meets all over western Kansas and into Oklahoma and other places.
They have spent this time with their children, both in the car as a captured audience and at the meets, giving them encouragement and direction. My late husband and I spent 15 years doing this with our children. What a blessing swimming has been to building families and genuinely good people in our community. These young people are our future and our hope.
I once had a brochure entitled “Swimming is a Preparation for Life” which I gave out to families. I and many others truly believe that. Please do everything possible to keep the pool at the college open for our young people! Let’s keep building and supporting the young people in our community!