Swimming Anyone?

Last Thursday I had the privilege to meet some of our local swimmers with the Tallahatchie Tidal Waves Swim Team. My major purpose was to interview Coach Joanna Manning and those swimmers that recently competed in the state championships in Cleveland. I accomplished that order of business, but it was impressive how much our local team had accomplished in less than two years’ time.

I was also impressed with how the team has utilized the maximum from their limited training regiment. Many teams can meet and swim practically every day and sometimes twice in a day. The Tidal Waves meet three days a week, usually in 90 minute sessions, but they maximize the time they have and work and train hard.

A big thank you should go out right here to the Baptist Healthplex for offering their pool to the team for their practices. That’s community spirit at its best as we see entities working together to promote our area youth and youth programs. You need a facility to train in and it’s great that we have such a facility right here in New Albany and Union County.

As I talked with Aniston McClellan, Bo Rainer, Joseph Fennell, and Coach Joanna Manning, one question I posed was “Would you like to see swimming available here in our area high schools?” All responded by saying they would and that they thought it would be a benefit to our sports programs. Just off the top of my head, I can think of programs at Tupelo, Oxford, and Amory schools locally. I am sure there are more than those, but not many.

One comment that Coach Manning said that stuck with me was “Swimming is the only sport that if you learn it, you can save a life, whether it’s yours or someone else’s.” Makes you think long and hard about that. I would like to see our local high schools take up swimming, you can swim no matter what your age. Most sports are not so kind as the older you get, the less likely that you can play the game or sport.

Swimming is also very useful in physical rehabilitation whether it be for those with hip or knee replacement, etc. When your body cannot take the pounding of running or jogging, you can still swim in most cases.

I know of one athletic program that may be phasing out a sport after this year, maybe this would be an excellent time to check into swimming. Hopefully we can at least have discussion and dialog on the sport with the hopes of bringing it into our athletic programs at one or more schools.

Thanks to Joanna Manning and the Tallahatchie Tidal Waves for your hospitality. Congratulations on your impressive showing at the state long course championships and best wishes on a successful short course season.

Signup is going on during August if you’re interested in joining the Tallahatchie Tidal Waves. Check it out. Take the dive.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.