TEMPERANCE -- The Southern Michigan Aquatic Club is looking for the next Michael Phelps or Missy Franklin, or just youngsters who want to learn to swim.
That's according to Bedford Township resident Amy Lingle, the club treasurer and a board member.
"We offer learn-to-swim all the way to competitive swimming programs for ages 4 to 18," she said. "Right now, we probably have 110 swimmers. It's an inexpensive program for children who want to learn how to swim."
Ms. Lingle said the club has been in existence for 25 years and is sanctioned by USA Swimming.
It uses the Monroe High School pool, and about half of its members come from Bedford Township. The season for returning swimmers begins Sept. 10; for new swimmers, the start date is Sept. 15.
Information on registration is available at smacswim.com. Price information is there as well.
"We're a Michigan club, but you don't have to be a Michigan resident to join. We have people from Ohio," Ms. Lingle said.
Beginning swimmers are placed in the Minnow category, which is divided into three groups according to proficiency. They learn the four major strokes and other fundamentals.
The next category is Bronze, which is an introduction to competitive swimming.
To make this group, swimmers need a good understanding of the strokes. The instructions aim to impart proper techniques for starts, turns, and streamlines.
The next category, Silver, builds upon the skills learned in Bronze and emphasizes interval training, or shorter swim sets.
Gold, the most advanced category, is for serious, competitive, year-round swimmers. The training is intense, and race strategies are included in the instruction.
Ms. Lingle said the club is raising funds to buy an underwater camera system to analyze swimmers' strokes and techniques.
She said it also is looking for an assistant coach experienced in working with competitive swimmers. Anyone with interest in the position should send a resume to Jeremy Layman at email@example.com.