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Gilroy Gators The Gilroy Gators Swim Team (GGST) is a great opportunity for grade school and high school children who want to swim competitively for their athletic and educational advancement. The Gators’ team philosophy is to emphasize and reward continuous self- improvement. From the standpoint of the swim team’s coaches, it’s all about the hard work and dedication of every swimmer on the team. Last winter, the Gators hired Gilroy newcomer Wayne Norris as their new head coach. Norris intends to support the GGST mission and create even more opportunities for the most serious swimmers in the program. With over forty years of coaching experience, including thirty at the collegiate level, Norris knows what it takes and what colleges are looking for, and he wants to do all that he can to help swimmers earn the scholarship of their choice. Norris is currently restructuring the Gators team and rewriting the require- ments for each group of swimmers. There will be eight groups, with the more advanced swimmers working out twice a day during the summer. Despite this focused schedule for the most dedicated swimmers, Norris described the Gators team as a “novice type program,” and indicated that some programs require twice a day workouts all year long. But as reflected in their mission statement, the Gators club is not exclusively for those swimmers competing for college scholarships. “The younger kids and less serious older swimmers will have more free time,” Norris explained. Throughout all levels of the program, he said, “We have a high percentage of swimmers who improve, and great parent support.” Norris said he understands that younger kids are still trying to sample different sports and decide what they like. “But by thirteen or fourteen they’ll want to decide whether to swim for the enjoyment of it, or if it’s going to be a stepping stone into college.” The team currently includes swimmers as young as four and up to seventeen years old, but with his colle- giate experience Norris would be happy to coach swimmers in their twenties. Practices are held at Gilroy High School’s two, 25-yard pools—one competition depth and the other a training pool that’s three and-a-half feet deep. The club operates a year-round program, with a one-week break after short course season (late April to early May), and a two-week break after the long course summer season. During the short course season, there’s one workout a day, five days a week in the late afternoon to evening— depending on age. Norris said swimmers are expected to attend seventy to eighty percent of their practices, but he’s more lenient with younger kids. “I want every- one to stay on the team,” Norris said. Before Norris retired from college coaching, he always told everyone he wanted to return to age group coaching. People would say, “After all your experience, why would you want to do that?” Norris explained, “I actually enjoy watching kids improve no matter what age, as long as they are happy and they enjoy the sport. I enjoy working with the seven- to eight-year-olds as much as my older swimmers. The kids surprise me sometimes at a swim meet by swimming a lot better than at practice, and I think ‘Where did that come from?’ It’s a lot of fun. And there’s still room to help the more advanced swimmers.” GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MAY/JUNE 2017 Norris said he feels the program is headed in right direction. “We have better turnout with kids all the time.” He added that the Gators’ April swim clinic was well-received. “We’ll bring in kids and help them learn all the strokes, and hopefully they’ll want to join the team.” Visit their website at teamunify.com to learn more. Aquatics Center in Morgan Hill The City of Morgan Hill has an outdoor Aquatics Center on Condit Road and an indoor pool at the Centennial Recreation Center (CRC) on Edmundson Avenue. Lisa Rick has served as Aquatics Center Coordinator since October 2012. She manages programming (including the Splash Aquatics program), and staff, as well as swim lessons and pool maintenance at both locations. Anna Bielecki, the CRC’s Aqua Coordinator, manages the lifeguard staff and year- round aqua fitness classes for adults at both facilities. According to Rick, Morgan Hill Splash Aquatics hires only certified coaches, who teach students to compete in swimming, diving, and water polo sports. Children can participate on the swim team beginning at four to five YX\وYK\[[ۈX[]K[\ NYX\ HZY[\\Y[[Y\YYHXH[HB\ HX\HوY\[H[H\قXK]^H۸&]]HB\X8%]8&\]HX[\܋HX[HXX\]H[Y\HYZ˂'\[[\K8'HXZY '\ݚYHX[H]]Y\\\]][ۈ[[HHܝZ^K