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Columns

Splash into swimming at Norris Recreation Center

From lessons to competitive swim team, St. Charles Aquatics at Norris Recreation Center offers multiple programs for all ages.

Swim programs include lessons for children, babies 6 months old up to 14 years old, in addition to options for adults, home school children and children with special needs.

“Along with the fundamentals, we are teaching children swimming efficiency,” said Swim Program Coordinator Anna Hutchinson.

But most importantly, Hutchinson stressed, St. Charles Aquatics teaches water safety to children and parents, as drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children 1-4 years old, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I tell parents, wipe what you know clean and start over,” said Hutchinson, who admits it’s her passion to teach about water safety to students and parents, and preschoolers outside the program.

Established in 1975, St. Charles Aquatics has a rich history in St. Charles, focused on development and training of young swimmers, many of whom have gone on to swim competitively in high school and college as well as in the Olympic Trials. The St. Charles Park District partnered with St. Charles Aquatics in 2016 when it assumed management of the Norris facility.

“St. Charles is a community that loves swimming and celebrates it,” Hutchinson said. “We have a place for your child, no matter what their age or ability.”

Whether your child is just starting out in swim lessons or ready for swim team, St. Charles Aquatics has a program to meet their needs.

Non-Competitive Swim Training, for ages 6 and older, teaches refinement of the four competitive strokes and endurance as well as advanced skills such as flip turns, dives and relays.

Competitive Swim Team, for ages 6 and older, is for swimmers who are ready to take their skills to the next level. While providing the experience of being part of a team, the program focuses on improving stroke technique and promotes each swimmer’s best performance.

Springboard Diving, for ages 6 and older, and Water Polo, for ages 8-18, adds to the variety of programs giving children an opportunity to improve and challenge their skills.

Masters Swim for ages 18 and older, provides a fitness-based class focused on training techniques, stroke improvement and goal setting.

According to Hutchinson, many children will enroll in one of the swim programs to stay physically fit, cross-train for other sports or continue practicing in the off-season. Adults can benefit as well.

“It’s a full body exercise that’s fun, and helps your mind, body and spirit,” Hutchinson said.

Instructors include those who have been with St. Charles Aquatics since the 1970s to high school competitive swimmers, many of which are former students.

“It’s an amazing place to be part of something that is bigger than yourself,” Hutchinson said. “We give kids an opportunity to grow, not just as a swimmer but to give back to the community.”

For a schedule of programs and to register, visit www.stcaquatics.com.

For more information, contact Anna Hutchinson at stcharlesaquatics@gmail.com 630-377-1405.

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