On Your Mark, Get Set, Tidal Waves!!

The Outer Banks has more children experiencing the joy of swimming now than ever before with the creation of the first local YMCA swim team this fall.

The Tidal Waves already have approximately 40 members since it kicked off its inaugural season this October.  So far, the team has participated in four swim meets with other YMCA teams in northeastern North Carolina and the Hampton Roads area. It will host its first swim meet on the Outer Banks this month.

“We have never had more kids swimming on the Outer Banks than we do right now,” says Caitlin Canipe, coach and Y aquatics director. The formation of the Tidal Waves was a grassroots effort among local parents and YMCA staff.

2016 Outer Banks YMCA Tidal Waves Swim Team. Photo Michelle Wagner.

The team, which serves swimmers age 8 to 18, practices three days a week year round and competes in meets once a month. Canipe said swimming with the Tidal Waves is the perfect next step for children who have advanced through the Y’s swim lesson program. The cost for team members is $35 a month with a YMCA membership.

“This program opens up the world of swimming to kids who might not have had it otherwise,” says Kathleen Morgan, who co-coaches with Canipe. “We live at the beach and we need these kids to be strong swimmers.”

Along with growing strong swimmers, Morgan and Canipe say that the team has a whole lot of fun together practicing and traveling to meets. “We want the kids to love swimming,” Morgan said. “If they don’t love it, they won’t stick with it. Everyone leaves with a smile every time.”

The program gives swimmers an opportunity to compete, but  she added that there’s no pressure if they don’t. “But they all want to do better because they just love it,” Morgan said.

“It’s great that the Y started this program,” says Robert Trivette, whose daughter Maura Trivette swims for the Tidal Waves. “This is a great option for children who want to become better swimmers, and who want to see what competitive swimming is like.

“It’s also an inexpensive, low-pressure swimming option for parents, and for  any kid who wants to become a better swimmer, swim in a competitive swim meet and experience swimming with other kids on a team.”

A number of the Tidal Wave swimmers plan to swim on the high school team when they begin their freshman year and Morgan said the Tidal Waves is the perfect opportunity for them to prepare for that.

If you have a child who may be interested in joining the Tidal Waves, contact the Outer Banks Family YMCA at 252.449.8897. ♦

Michelle Wagner

Michelle Wagner is the editor at Three Dog Ink and has been living and writing on the Outer Banks for more than 15 years. Contact Michelle

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