GRZEXP Staff: Bridgette Hanson
There is so much uncertainty in sports during this difficult time, and it has been hard to find a supportive team, but at RIO swim club, you will find nothing but fun memories and smiling faces. The team has many achievements, and a small percentage of the swimmers have even had the opportunity to go to Olympic trials. With trying times, swimming has been a reliable outlet to expend excess energy. Swimming has minimal closures, flexible schedule, and practices for all levels, whether you are a shaky beginner or an experienced professional. One of the team’s coaches, Bob Chen, has been on the team for ten years!! (three pre-comp, seven competitive). When asked what he liked most about the team, he mentioned working with the families and the athletes. When you talk to the parents, you can tell that they are a close knit bunch that will stand by each other and their swimmers.
The swimmers have record breaking swims often, one of which being the girls ten and under 50 yard backstroke with Lorin Tobler swimming a time of 32.21 in their annual Lost Dutchman swim invitational. This meet in particular attracts thousands of swimmers every year, held during presidents day weekend every year at Chandler High School in Arizona. Many athletes break records and reach time standards at this meet. With a long history of excellence, this team is a chance not many pass up. The wide range of backgrounds makes it diverse and inclusive outside of the pool, and many of the swimmers stay in contact for years to come. Some even come back to coach the per-competitive team after college and train a new generation of swimmers. The coaches and swimmers are so supportive of each other and their goals. Anyone who looks can see that this team is a positive place for success and a great environment to grow in. Some of the swimmers have even gone out of state and country for meets that they claim they would not have reached without the support of their team.
With all the commitment on both sides of the team, you can almost see the growth that coaches want to see happening if only you watch. This team is an amazing place to watch yourself grow for years to come. With all the wonderful people there, I don’t doubt that it will exceed your expectations and change your life for the better.