Northwest NEWS

September 27, 1999

Front Page

VRA awards 'swimmerships' to local residents


Swimmership recipients (left to right): Joe Wolf, executive director of the Sno-Valley Senior Center; David McCaig; Bethany McCaig; Carol McCaig; Frances McCaig; and Kacie and Jonathan England.
Photo by Nona Diediker.

   The Valley Recreation Association (VRA) awarded $488 in "swimmerships" to Lower Valley residents earlier this month.

   "We believe everyone in the Valley should have the opportunity to swim safely," explained VRA board president Jeff Spencer. "That's why we offered these swimmerships."

   Summer opportunities for swimming are plentiful in the Valley. "But river swimming isn't very safe," he said. "And when fall and winter roll around, residents of the Lower Valley need to drive to North Bend, Issaquah, Redmond, or Bellevue for most swimming opportunities."

   According to Spencer, the VRA hopes to build a swimming pool and recreation center in Duvall or Carnation "if the marketing research shows a pool can support itself."

   Between now and the opening of a local pool, the VRA offered swimmerships to encourage Valley residents to swim. $100 was donated to the Sno-Valley Senior Center to support their aqua-aerobics program for all Valley seniors.

   Jonathan England, 2 1/2, received a swimmership to pay for lessons at R&R Swimming. His mother, Kacie, said she is passionate about two things: "No one should litter and everyone should know how to swim."

   The three McCaig children, David, Frances, and Bethany, each received swimmerships. David and Frances swim competitively. Coaching and swim-meet entry fees quickly add up. Their younger sister, Bethany, is likely to follow in their footsteps as her swimming improves this year. $100 was also awarded to their mother, Carol McCaig, the only adult to apply for a swimmership. The McCaig family swims at the Pro Club in Bellevue.

   "In our opinion, the [Valley Recreation] Association is striving for something for the Valley, which is desperately needed," Carol wrote in thanks to the VRA. "To know how to swim is a lifesaving (yours or someone else's) skill that no child should be denied ... A swimming pool can only benefit our community. It gives something for everyone--be it a 2 1/2-year-old learning water skills or an octogenarian swimming laps to stay supple and balanced."

   Spencer said the VRA hopes to provide swimmerships again next year. "And we hope more people will join us in our efforts to create a safe, healthy swimming facility here in the Valley."

   For more information about the VRA, people can write to P.O. Box 522, Carnation, WA 98014; call Spencer at 425-333-4254; or send e-mail to