Charleston Should be a Swimming Power

Last week I ran into a former colleague who worked with me back in the aughts at City of Charleston Swim Team. In the midst of catching him up on the latest local swimming news, he blurted out "man, Charleston should be a power swimming city, right up there with cities in Florida and California."

He's right. And that's been my vision and dream since I moved down here in 2000. Charleston has a sizable and fast-growing population, warm weather all year, and a fondness for water. Its coastal location also makes it imperative for all kids to at least know how to swim. Charleston has many structural advantages for fast swimming.

Charleston should regularly produce national and international class swimmers, All-Americans, National Team members, and yes, even Olympians. Why haven't we achieved this level of excellence yet?

Several factors hold Charleston back. Lots of families do not have convenient access to aquatic facilities, especially on a year round basis. There are only 8 aquatics facilities in the area that operate all year long. The newest facility is already 7 years old. There are no year round facilities in the growing areas of Daniel Island, James Island, or John's Island. A lot of kids and families cannot participate in this sport simply because they cannot afford the access to a facility.

Further, many families encounter unpredictable turmoil on swim clubs. Consistent quality instruction is rare in Charleston. Literally, every year at least one year round program has a major shakeup with its facilities and/or staff. When developing swimmers over the long term, many Charleston kids learn 3+ different philosophies on training and technique before they're even 12 years old...and they will likely learn at least two more philosophies before they graduate high school. It is very difficult for kids to develop and master competitive swimming skills if they have to start over with a new teacher every 1-2 years.

We will help Charleston become a powerful swimming area. With convenient facilities and our experienced coaches, we can address some of the major issues obstructing Charleston swimming. And we're just getting started.

We believe Charleston swimming should be mentioned in the same breath as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Austin, Miami, and Charlotte. We look forward to helping make that happen.

Courtney Faller