City makes waves to chase away heat

Lap, wave pools to open in one week

Get set to get wet.

On June 2, the Craig City Pool will officially open for the summer season and there will be plenty to do.

There is always the Western Slope's only wave pool to wallow in during the dog days of summer in, but it's not the only water activity available.

Beginning June 4 and continuing until early August, Craig Parks and Recreation will provide youth swimming lessons for children ages 3 to 6. The lessons are organized by age, with 10, 10-day sessions being offered.

The program for 3-year-old children, the "Frogs," teaches basic water safety and beginning swimming skills.

Four-year-olds in the program will be members of the "Seahorses," who will work on more advanced swimming techniques such as prone floating and rhythmic breathing.

The "Dolphins" and "Sharks," a program for 5- and 6-year-olds teaches children Red Cross preschool skills. It is designed to build a child's confidence before entering the Red Cross program.

"After the kids reach the age of seven, they are grouped by skill level instead of age, but they must be tested to determine what skill level they're at." Parks and Recreation Department Administrator Penny Bricker said.

The Red Cross has a number of skill tests that must be completed before a child moves to the next level. The lesson groups are usually made up of children ages 7 through 12.

Both the City's swim lessons, and the Red Cross lessons have a $20 fee.

The city will also offer adult swim lessons for anyone age 18 or older who would like to learn or improve their swimming skills. The cost for the adult lessons is also $20.

If children are already competent in the water, and over the age of seven, the Craig Sea Sharks swim club offers them the a chance to swim competitively. Sea Sharks is a co-ed, summer team that is open to any child with the ability to swim.

"Some kids who come out for the Sea Sharks are highly competitive, while other join just to get the exercise," Sea Sharks President Tammy Workman said. "Regardless of why they're out for swimming, the kids will really sharpen their skills with what they learn in Sea Sharks."

The team practices every weekday from 7 a.m. until noon and competes each weekend until the state championship, which will be Aug. 3-5 in Craig.

Swimmers qualify for state by meeting a pre-set time, much like high school swimming. The Sea Sharks will also host one, regular-season meet at the Craig pool July 6 - 8.

The Sea Sharks will not only compete at the Craig pool, but will travel as far as Montrose and Cortez to compete.

If swimming isn't where your main interests lie, the Parks and Recreation Department also offers water walking and swimnastics programs for anyone interested.

Water-walking, is exactly what it sounds like walking in the shallow end of the pool, using the water as resistance. It is a good exercise for people with arthritis or joint problems because it takes the stress off joints that would be normally be jarred in exercise.

Swimnastics is a low-impact aerobic program that participants do in a pool, using the water as resistance to strengthen muscles.

"We have all levels of classes of swimmers, from beginner to expert," Bricker said. "We also have certified instructors teaching the classes."

Water-walking and swimnastics will run June 4 - Aug. 24 and cost $1.50 per session.

There will also be two Moonlight Swimnastics programs June 6 and Aug. 20. Moonlight Swimnastics is the same as swimnastics, but held at night.

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