In the Richmond region, almost 70,000 children and adults take swim lessons during the summer at YMCA branches alone. In addition, the area offers a variety of year-round swimming programs for athletes or individuals looking for a new workout regimen — one that's easier on the joints and, if done properly, exercises every muscle group, says Dr. Doug Cutter with CJW's Sports Medicine. "Swimming is excellent aerobic exercise," he says. "You are using upper extremities and lower extremities to propel you through the water. There is much less stress on the joints." Here's a list of local programs to check out.
Local Masters Swimming Committee of Virginia
Chair: Chris Stevenson
An extension of United States Masters Swimming, Richmond's Local Masters Swimming Committee includes about 200 area swimmers of all ages and abilities. This year-round competitive team features members of Midlothian's Quest Masters Swim Team, Midlothian Athletic Center Masters, University of Richmond Masters Swimming, sections of the Virginia Masters Team and more. LMSC represents these swimmers on a national basis, providing them with information about training and competitions.
Morgan Swim School
Owner/lead instructor: Kerin Morgan
740-1185 or morganswimschool.com
A family-owned aquatics business launched in 1995, Morgan Swim School offers year-round private and group instruction for infants to adults at several locations. Programs include eight-day blitz classes, classes for parents and their infants, as well as special-needs instruction.
NOVA of Virginia Aquatics
Head coach: Geoff Brown
Home pool: NOVA Aquatics Center on Gayton Road
754-3401 or novaswim.org
Swim lessons for four levels of swimmers, from pre-beginner to pre-team, for ages 3 and up, plus clinics. Year-round competitive swim team as well as a masters swimming team. Currently, NOVA includes more than 700 competitive swimmers and more than 30 masters swimmers.
Poseidon Swimming Inc.
Head coach: Ted Sallade
Home pool: ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center on Robious Road
379-5480 or poseidonswimming.com
A year-round competitive swimming organization that frequently sends athletes to local, state and zone championships. Currently, Poseidon's enrollment includes 266 athletes from ages 6 to 19, as well as more than 30 masters swimmers.
Head coach: Mike Hodges
Home pool: Swansboro Pool on Midlothian Turnpike
646-1174 or richmondgov.com/parks/AthleticsSwimming.aspx
Launched as a city team in 1992, Richmond Racers includes about 150 swimmers who compete in two leagues, Virginia Community Swim League and USA Swimming. The year-round competitive team practices five days per week and also offers swim lessons. The Racers team competes against such local teams as NOVA and Poseidon, as well as other state recreation leagues.
The YMCA of Greater Richmond
Aquatics director: Cami Raimo
649-9622 or ymcarichmond.org
With 15 branches across the area, the YMCA offers year-round water training, including almost 70,000 summer swim lessons for infants to adults, as well as swim clinics and safety and swimming programs for inner-city youth and 2,700 second-grade students throughout the year. Also, the YMCA hosts an Intra-Branch Swim League and a year-round, competitive USS Swim Team at several branches. In addition, they offer programs for individuals with arthritis and people suffering from multiple sclerosis.