Lessons teach students to swim, not sink

Katie Paysinger
News editor
Linfield Activities Board is offering a new event for students and faculty to participate in this year: Private swim lessons are now available for $2 for a 30-minute session with a Red Cross certified swim instructor.
Senior Courtney Johnson, the LAB health and outdoor events programmer, came up with the idea last spring. She has been an avid swimmer in the past, participting on the Linfield swim team her freshman and sophomore years, and she thought swimming lessons would be a good activity for the Linfield community.
“If you wanted to get a private lesson for half an hour from an outside source, you would be paying up to $20,” Johnson said, reminding students of the good deal they are getting by taking the lessons on campus. The student body fees everyone pays at the beginning of the school year help fund these lessons, as well as all the other events LAB provides throughout the year.
Johnson said she started these lessons to coordinate more events on campus versus solely organizing events that take people away from McMinnville.
Swimmers will be matched up with an instructor and find a time for lessons that work for both individuals. The lessons can be in basic training or a specific skill, such as diving.
The instructors are students, primarily from the swim team, who are certified by the Red Cross.
A spike in campus pool users occurred about two years ago, but it has been pretty steady since then, Gary Gutierrez, aquatics director and head swim team coach, said.
“You can guarantee [an increase] in swimmers every four years because of the Olympics,” he said. “We used to have a quiet little pool, and now everyone wants in there.”
Gutierrez has recently labeled this Olympic-induced craze the “Phelps Effect,” after swimmer Michael Phelps, winner of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. Gutierrez named junior Kyle Anderson as a swimmer under this effect.
“I always wanted to swim, but after watching Phelps, something came over me and made me want to do it,” Anderson said. “I bet there are a lot of people out there like me who wanted to do it but really didn’t want to commit to a team.”
Anderson committed to the swim team but said the swim lessons the Campus Information Center is now offering are a great way to get started.
“At this age, being insecure in the water is not a good thing,” Johnson said. “A lot of people take up swimming for safety or just as a good, healthy activity to do.”

1 Comment on Lessons teach students to swim, not sink

  1. I wish that I had taken swimming lessons when I was a child. I just recently learned to swim and I feel a lot safer taking my children to swim because of that. It is never too late to learn – I can testify to that.

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