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SWAT helps kids build up their swimming skills all year long

By Staff | Jul 14, 2016

Coach Curtis Mcintyre. ASHLEY GOODMAN

SWAT (Sanibel Water Attack Team), is a year-round swim team offered by the Sanibel Recreation Center. The swim team is designated for children ages 5 to 18.

Coach Curtis Mcintyre teaches the kids proper stroke techniques and focuses on building their endurance.

The swim team was established in 1974 by a few fathers on Sanibel who wanted their children to have something to do during the summer. They originally practiced at the Casa Ybel pool before the first recreation center was built in the early ’80s.

Mcintyre said that the first recreation center was primarily built for the SWAT team.

“SWAT was kind of the impetus for it all. It was the thing that kids did in the summer. They actually built the recreation center for the SWAT kids originally because they had nowhere to swim. They went to Casa Ybel and sometimes they went up to Cypress Lake High School,” Mcintyre said.

McIntyre was hired in 2013, and since then, SWAT has been a year-round swim team. During the summers, they usually have around 12 children, but once school begins, that number increases drastically.

“We got up to about a high of 60 kids before Christmas. Almost a third of the Sanibel School swims. It’s really grown,” he said.

When school starts up in the fall, SWAT has a meeting once a month. Mcintyre said that between 40 and 100 kids show up.

SWAT competes against all different clubs in Florida. The cost is $30 a month for members and $40 a month for non-members. Practice is Monday through Friday. The Blue team practices from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the Gold team practices from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about the swim team, call the Sanibel Recreation Center at (239) 472-0345 or contact Coach Mcintyre at (239) 560-3311.