The Fort Bragg Fighting Fish swim team offers youth a comprehensive swim program at the installation.
Katelan Blount, assistant manager of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Aquatics Program, said the swim team is open to youth who are eligible to use FMWR facilities.
“We have kids as young as five and six and we go all the way up to 18. We cover all stages of youth,” she said.
The fighting fish are broken up into five groups — Lil’ Fighters, age 5 to 9 years old; developmental 7 to 12; age group A or B, 9 to 14 and senior 12 to 18.
The program focuses on proper technique with lower level team groups focusing on stroke technique with an emphasis on stroke refinement in higher group levels.
The swim team is a year-round activity, which allows participants to try out for the team at any time, or withdraw from the team at any time.
Youth who would like to participate must try out and will be placed on the appropriate team.
“Before we place a child on a team and figure out what group they need to be in we have a tryout that includes having them swim in all of the strokes that they know,” Blount said. “(For example) to be placed on the lowest level team, we like to see them complete at least a 25 (which is one length of the pool) in freestyle with rotational breathing and we like to see one other stroke, such as back or breast.”
She said some foundation in swimming is important, but for those children who do not have a foundation, taking a swim lesson can help them achieve the requirements to be on the team.
“We’ve had kids who have taken one or two swim lessons and try out again and be placed on one of the teams,” Blount said.
Swim lessons are offered through the Aquatics program. Private, one-on-one lessons are available for ages 4 and up. Group swim lessons are also provided monthly. For more information on swim lessons, visit https://bragg.armymwr.com/us/bragg/programs/aquatics, or call 643-8533.
Blount said team members have the opportunity to compete at swim meets, but competing is not a requirement.
“We encourage participation in swim meets because it gives the kids something to work hard for,” she said.
To schedule a tryout, or to learn more about the swim team, call Tolson Indoor Pool at 643-8533, or go to teamunify.com/ncsfff.