Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:38PM - 451 Views
Rachel Baldwin
Williamson Daily News

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Special to the Daily News

The Larry Joe Harless Community Center is very pleased to announce their new swim club — the Harless Hammerheads!

The center has joined the Highlands Association Swim Club and will be competing in summer competitions with Welch, Bluefield, Concord, Tazewell and Giles clubs. To join the swim club, children ages 5 -18 must be a member of the Larry Joe Harless Community Center. A student membership is only $15 per month and scholarships are available through the Harless Children’s Assistance Program (H-CAP).

The Harless Hammerheads will be coached by Lifeguard Supervisor Dustin Lester. Dustin has seven years of experience as a Lifeguard at the center and last year became a certified Starfish Aquatic Instructor. He has offered competition swim lessons to many of the center’s swimmers.

“I love seeing the aquatic programs at the Harless Center grow, I’m very pleased that we now have the swim club and are part of the Highlands Association. Leading the aquatic programs has been a challenge but one that I was willing to face. I want to encourage everyone to do as I did and become involved and help continue the growth of our community. Physical fitness has always been very important to me and I’m so glad I get the chance everyday to help others achieve their goals through the Harless Center aquatic programs.” Said Dustin Lester.

The first informational workshop will be held April 29th at 5:30 p.m. Each Monday thereafter Coach Dustin will offer a weekly instructional workshop on swim strokes and competitive swimming. Swim club members must log 12 hours of individual swim practice by May 20, 2013 at which time the swim club rooster will be made and swim gear will be purchased.

“ We are excited to have a dedicated staff and supportive Board to assist us in promoting swimming in one of the best indoor pools in the area. The Harless Hammerheads will promote respect for others, nurture high self esteem, and fine tune physical fitness and help us meet our LJHCC mission to enrich people’s lives in our community and Southern West Virginia by offering health, recreational and cultural opportunities. We welcome the Harless Hammerheads to our programming and look forward to a great summer,” said Cheryl Mitchem, Executive Director.

The LJHCC is a member of the USA Swimming Foundation and site of the Mingo Central Swim Team.

“This will be a great program that will develop future swimmers for the high school team. It will able us to have more experienced swimmers once they get to the high school and help us compete at a higher level of competition.” Said LJHCC Recreation Director and MCHS Assistant Swim Coach Eric Hatfield.”The club/league swimming is a wonderful experience for children who love to swim and travel. They get to compete and visit other parts of the state. It’s a great thing for the kids who get to do that.” Hatfield also stated. “We are very blessed that we have a facility like this in our community and this program will be another way for people to see that. Hopefully we will have many children participate in the league/club and swim with it.”

Conditioning for competitive swimming is a beneficial to keep you in shape for all other sports. It is a great summer activity. Registration for the Harless Hammerheads is now being accepted. For further information, contact Dustin Lester at 664-2500.

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