|March 16, 2004|
Swimmers team up with St. Anthony's for lessons, bonding
Swimmers all, Union College and St. Anthony's School at Alumni Gym pool.
What do 50 students from St. Anthony's School do during one of the coldest of Schenectady's winters?
Go swimming, of course.
The students, in grades one through five, were guests of the Union College Swimming and Diving Team. Fifteen team members, under the guidance of Head Coach Scott Felix, helped the youngsters master the swimming basics and enjoy the sport over the course of the six-week program.
The Union athletes worked with groups of up to four (beginners got one-on-one lessons), teaching the strokes, diving and mock racing.
Scott Doig, physical education teacher at St. Anthony's, said he called the College hoping to arrange a one-day program. "The swim team far exceeded my expectations by offering a program that was over a month long, and gave an almost one-to-one student-teacher ratio.
"In my classes, I try to give each child the opportunity to try new things and gain some basic skill in a wide variety of activities," he said. "Not everyone is interested in participating in football, baseball or basketball."
A lesson in diving
The youngsters quickly took to the Union swimmers and the pool, despite a tentative start. Recalling the youngsters' first visit to the pool at Alumni Gymnasium, Doig said, "There was an excitement felt by everyone in the room that day. The students … were fidgeting and gaping at the large building that surrounded them, anxiously awaiting what lay ahead."
Union's Campus Safety provided transportation for the students to and from St. Anthony's. "The kids thoroughly enjoyed the ride to the pool in our own Union College Bus," Doig said.
Union's swimmer-instructors included Heather Bernstein, Tara Campbell, Carolyn Castagna, Colleen Donlan, Christine Dunn, Elizabeth Henry, Brianne Phillips, Sydnie Wells, Chuck Kinnett, Andrew Lockwood, Aaron Phillips, Drew Rand, Andrew Sparkes, Grant Van Der Beken and Steve LaPlante.