County decision unfairly hurts Fins swim team kids

info@islandpacket.comNovember 4, 2013 

Beaufort County Council officials are wrong regarding the Fins Swim Team. The swimmers are children who are being trained. Because of the county's decisions, a majority of these kids are now forced to practice in an outdoor pool. Would you let your children swim outside in 40- or 50-degree weather? The county is making ours. Who at the county thinks it's funny to watch 9- and 12-year-olds in wet bathing suits scramble for warm towels and coats when they get out of the pool after practice? How is 40-degree wind going to feel on their wet faces and in their ears for two hours? How about shivering the whole ride home from practice because they're cold down to their bones?

I have two children who swim for the Fins. The younger is 10, weighs 55 pounds and is in the fifth percentile for weight. Should I have her quit swimming because a Parks and Leisure Services Department employee may have undercharged her swim coach? These Fins swimmers give their hearts and souls, committing to practice and excelling at a sport they love. Where are the hearts and souls of county leaders? The Fins swim program has always been the red-headed stepchild in Bluffton youth athletics. Now it's the abused one as well.

The sad fact is, it's the children who are the real losers in this business.

Mary Beth Lyons


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