One of our new members at OKM is Kirsten Cappell, and her daughter, Emerson Blackwell, has swum with you. Kirsten came to OKM expressly because we have an vibrant “Evening Swim” section of our NVSL Team. Kirsten said a lot of other families at SWB are interested in an evening-only summer league team opportunity, and she mentioned tonight that you might be willing to us spread the word about our program! I’d be very interested in that. Here’s some einfo:
5 yrs ago, OKM only had 75 kids, and we were looking to rebuild the team. When I would recruit new families at the pool to try swim team, so many of them said they couldn’t participate b/c they had 2 working parents, and a 10AM practice for 8-unders was impossible. I saw a real opportunity to help OKM grow both membership and swim team – especially b/c so few other pools offer this. OKM is uniquely suited to run Evening Swim b/c we have a 50-meter pool (with a 25-meter cross section used for NVSL). Because our pool is 2x the size of other NVSL pools, we can take up the entire 6-lane competition space, and there is still plenty of pool space for our members.
We launched the program in 2016 with just 12 swimmers. We run the program 3 evenings per week from 6:30-7:30PM, which is late enough for working parents to make it pretty easily. It’s limited to 12-unders, though I’d be open to expanding that if the need arose. We always swim Sunday/Thurs nights, and either Tues/Wed based on conflicts with dive meets/relay carnivals. For the first 3 weeks of the season, before school is out, everyoneswims in the evening, so the Evening Swim kids swim with the full team every day for the first 1/3 of the season. That’s a great way for them to get connected with teammates and the full coaching staff. We consider the Evening swimmers full members of the team in all ways. And they are free to come to morning practice any time they might be able to. (The corollary is also true – kids from the regular morning practice can use evening as a makeup session as long as there’s space)
Last year, in our third year, we had over 30 kids in Evening Swim, including a number of Minis. Over the last 3 years, a number of Evening families have found a way to transition to the regular morning team once they get hooked on swimming via Evening Swim! Overall, our team has tripled in size in the last 5 yrs – we now have about 210 kids. I assume you’ve coached some of them at Makos! Certainly not all of growth is from Evening Swim, but it has really helped, and has been a very positive thing for us. The Pool Board is supportive of Evening Swim. We’ve gotten zero complaints from members about the pool usage. In fact, many adult swimmers have said it’s great that we leave the lane lines in after practice ends at 7:30PM b/c now they have 6 “lap lanes”! We are committed to continuing Evening Swim, and I’d love to get the word out to help us grow it further.
Please let me know if there’s an opportunity for us to share more OKM info with your SWB swimmers. I’d be happy to discuss this further with you. FYI, here’s the link on our website for Evening Swim: https://okm.swimtopia.com/evening-swim