Earlier this month I was invited, along with a select group of bloggers, to learn about the funnest sport in Irvine, CA. The 2014 National Swimming Championships were taking place at the William Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine. My daughter and I had a blast watching swimmers compete, getting in the pool with Dara Torres and learning and about competitive swimming.
The day started off with a behind the scenes tour of the Aquatics Center.
There was a super cool social media board that tracked all of the Tweets with the hashtag #Phillips66Nats.
It was exciting to watch competitive swimming in action!
Here is the high-tech scoreboard that featured each swimmer’s time.
After the tour, we took part in a lunch and learn. The speaker was none other than Dara Torres, former competitive swimmer and world record-holder. Dara is a twelve-time Olympic medalist (four gold, four silver, four bronze). She is such an inspirational speaker and it was awesome to hear her talk about the reasons why swimming is the funnest sport.
As an ambassador for Swim Today, Dara spoke about the benefits of competitive swimming for kids which include:
- There are no bench-warmers! Every child gets to participate.
- There is a low rate of injury. Unlike other competitive sports, it is rare to have knee injuries, head injuries (which is a big concern in high school football) or other injuries that occur in middle or high school sports programs.
- You learn teamwork. Sure you may compete as an individual; however, you practice, set goals and work together as a team.
- You learn time management skills. Whether you practice daily or weekly, your child learns how to structure their time to get homework done, chores finished and make time for friendships.
- It’s fun!
To illustrate how fun it is to go swimming, we (bloggers and their children) went outside to the pool to get some swim time with Dara. Before the kids jumped in the pool, we had an opportunity to take photos with Dara. Here’s my daughter with her “medals” posing with Dara!
The kids had a great time in the pool, practicing their freestyle stroke!
All in all, it was a great day in the sun at the USA Swimming event! Click here to learn more about SwimToday, which is a campaign to encourage more kids to join swim as a sport.
Disclosure: This event was sponsored by USA Swimming. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. Thanks USA Swimming and Momtrends for this wonderful experience!