Swim Team Wants Their Own Pool

A'Haija Rushing, Staffer

Lots of schools, like Belton, have swim teams (and a swimming pool) but not all schools are lucky enough to have their own swimming pool. There are many reasons why most schools haven’t built their own pool.

“In my experience pools are very expensive to build and very expensive to maintain. You’d have to hire someone to clean the pool and of course someone to build the pool,” said athletic director Kirk Hipple.

This may be a good reason for some people, but for the swim team it’s not good enough. Madison McKindley who’s been on the varsity swim team for three years explains her thoughts of how having their personal pool will benefit the swim team.

“The reason why I want our own pool is because I really feel like the team is seriously divided between varsity and JV, varsity has to be practicing in the morning so that JV can practice and get what they need. So it just feels really divided and I just want to practice together. We have go to another schools pool and we have a few varsity who are freshmen or sophomores who can’t drive so they have a hard time getting to the pool because their parents have to try to take them at like 4:30, 5:00 in the morning for practice so that’s very difficult on them so then they have to try and find transportation to the school. So if we got our own pool, let’s say at rec park, it’s right there close it’s a big pool we wouldn’t have to do morning practice and all the girls can just ride the bus who needed that ride. Speaking personally I struggle with certain health conditions and it’s just not possible for me to eat in the morning so if we had our own pool practice wouldn’t have to be so early and I can eat around the time I normally eat without feeling sick” Madison McKindley said.

Some people may think that schools having their own personal pool is important while others may not think it’s a big deal. Hipple speaks on why he thinks it’s important to have their own pool.

“Well the convenience will be one thing… by having our own pool we can have our own program for the community and our entire school community and work that into like P.E classes all the way down to the elementary and do leagues and do summer programs and that would develop for our school a much larger, stronger swim team” Hipple said.

As well as advantages there are always disadvantages. Senior Aubree Arnett who’s been on the swim team for 2 years voices her opinion about the disadvantages of not having their own swimming pool.

“The only disadvantages I can think of would be transportation like some people skip practice because it’s not as close to our school so I think more people would show up to practice if we had a pool closer to us”.

Hipple has similar thoughts when it comes to transportation to and from the pool.

“We wouldn’t have to worry about transportation on a daily basis for our kids. We can involve our communities both Peculiar and Raymore to be able to access it here as well. I think we can introduce other sports like water polo as a possibility. But having our own pool will help with that also on the P.E side of things, we can have a swimming unit when it comes to P.E. I can see a lot of benefits from that” Hipple said.

Some people might say that having your own pool would impact a team’s performance. When asked this question McKindley and Hipple gave their honest opinions.

“Possibly in the fact that they would have access to a pool more than maybe some of them don’t. Like if i’m not a member of a certain community do I not have access to a pool. So I’d say probably” Hipple said.

“Yes. I feel like if JV and varsity was mixed a bit better, if they were brought together varsity would have the ability to work JV more and be able to help them within the water and not just coach above the water. I feel like if you get work in the water therefore you can get more improvement and more coaching” McKindley said.

So if the school were to get a pool, where would it be some may ask. We’ll let Coach Doug Brown answer, who’s been a coach for about 6 year answer that.

“Hopefully we would want it located here on campus so it’s convenient for swimmers but I don’t know how possible that is we also want it located to where it’s convenient to the community because when you invest that kind of money you want to make sure people can use it outside of the 20 kids on the swim team, the 40 kids on the swim team” Brown said.

Swimmers think it would be better if they were to have their own pool, that way it would be easier on them and the parents who have to take them to practice and the students who struggle with transportation.