Photo: Christine Swan
Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer season, and in Montgomery County and throughout the DMV, it also marks the beginning of summer swim season. Summer swim teams are a great local tradition, offering tens of thousands of local children and teenagers the opportunity to compete in an inclusive but competitive sport that welcomes boys and girls of every ability level, ages 4 to 18, from beginner to Olympic-level.
The Strathmore Bel Pre Dolphins are a 50-year-old summer team in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a way to defray expenses and keep registration fees low, the team established a Memorial Day 5K, which is now in its fourth year. After several days of oppressive early-summer heat, this year's 5K participants were delighted to wake up to a cool, overcast morning--perfect running weather. Over 120 runners, walkers, and stroller pushers completed the challenging, hilly course, led by 14-year-old Dolphins swimmer Aaron Siegle, who won the event with a time of just over 21 minutes.
Through summer swimming programs, children gain not only physical fitness and competition experience, but a valuable and often lifesaving skill. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), near-drownings send thousands of children to emergency rooms each year, and accidental drowning is a leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4. Swimming and water safety skills can help to prevent these needless accidents and tragedies.
DSFederal was proud to sponsor this event, and we hope that more families will use pool season as an opportunity to teach their children how to swim. Happy swimming, and happy summer!