TEXAS CITY – The area’s all-star game of youth swimming is in its 50th year and will be taking place next weekend at the Texas City Natatorium.
The Clear Creek Swim League will hold its annual contest for youth who have qualified with championship times in its 2014 Champ Series next Saturday and Sunday.
Those swimmers who have yet to qualify for the championship meet will get a final chance to do so at the novice and reserve sessions Tuesday. Then, those who qualify, will get to test their swimming skills against the best in the area in the championship finals June 29.
“All these kids that have reached this threshold now get to come and get to see who can place with the best of the rest of the leagues,” Clear Creek Swim League board president Brian Sharpless said. “So, this is really something special for the kids. The teams like to boast about having a large number of swimmers there, but it really comes down to the individual swimmers, the individual efforts and some good coaching.”
Just fewer than 4,000 swimmers on 21 area teams began five-days-a-week training in April for a five-meet regular season with the goal of racing to a championship time in order to qualify for next weekend’s meet.
The threshold for championship times are calculated each year based on the best times in each age group the previous year.
In addition to teaching those already equipped with some swimming skills the fundamentals and training needed to swim competitively and promoting good sportsmanship, the Clear Creek Swim League also gives away roughly 40 scholarships annually to its stand out swimmers.
“It’s all about the kids, and it’s really a great program for them, but it also takes a lot of parents to put this on and a lot of volunteers,” Sharpless said. “Without them, the kids would just be out there playing in the water.”
The competition features various races for kids from age groups eight and younger to 15 to 18. Teams mostly hail from the small communities south of Houston, with some teams having as many as 400 swimmers.