Opinion

Opinion | Support teams in a time of growth, tighter belts

Something I never thought would happen is happening.

I always assumed that without an Olympic-sized indoor pool in the Valley, we’d never see a true, hometown swim team.

Yet, starting on August 26, a group of 18 girls has been racing through the full-size, outdoor pool at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.

Huh? I thought. They swim in the rain? Yes, comes the answer, they do.

My wife was a high school swimmer, and the only time she didn’t take to the water was during thunderstorms. Such storms are (usually) rare in this part of the country, so the young swimmers of the Mount Si girls team take to the water in all weather; their schedule, by the way, lasts into November. So while rain and clouds threaten above, these girls will be doing drills in the balmy pool at the TPC.

It’ll be interesting to see how this program takes root. This marks the latest expansion of sport teams in the Valley, and is, in a sense, a real new beginning. This Valley is growing, the numbers of athletes are up, and it’s hard not to infer from that that teams are getting better. It’s only natural, when there’s simply more talent to draw on and growing youth leagues to train kids.

The question now is, how to sustain it? The kids are there, but it seems like resources are tighter than ever—you just have to look at the strike situation in local schools to know that. And what happens when our high school gets so big it has to split? Would a Mount Si team play a North Bend High School team in some kind of rivalry? What a thought.

The biggest factor in forming a local girls swim team this fall was finding the facility, and the TPC stepped up. Folks in the golf industry know that bringing in and connecting with families and young people will ensure the future of the sport, so this was a wise move for the club.

Yet it remains to be seen how or if a boys program will be hitting the waves, here in the Valley, any time soon. We’ll see how this partnership develops.

For now, folks can help support this program and these dedicated young athletes, who, like all local competitors, balance a lot of life demands to take part. Before practice, I listened as the girls debated how they were going to get their first-day homework and AP assignments done after all the in-pool drills.

Please support athletes all season and all year by attending games, taking part in benefit events and generally letting them know you support their strides. You can find a schedule for the rest of the high school sports season in this week’s Green Edition.

 

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