Photo: Christine Swan
In Montgomery County neighborhoods and throughout the DMV, Memorial Day marks the beginning of swim season, with young swimmers jumping in to begin a summer of training, competition, and fun. Summer swim teams are a long-standing local tradition, offering tens of thousands of children and teenagers the opportunity to participate in an inclusive sport that welcomes boys and girls of every ability level, ages 4 to 18, from beginner to Olympic-level.
The Strathmore Bel Pre Dolphins of Silver Spring, Maryland began competing in the Prince-Mont Swim League in 1969, and over 1,000 swimmers have swum with the Dolphins. In 2015, the team established its annual Dolphin Dash 5K as a way defray expenses and keep registration fees low, and DSFederal supported the event as a corporate sponsor for the second year in a row.
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. Additionally, research shows that swimmers enjoy long-term health and fitness benefits.
The Dolphin Dash follows a challenging, hilly course that winds its way through the Strathmore Bel Pre neighborhood. Over 130 runners, walkers, wheelchair riders, and stroller pushers participated in this year's race. Congratulations to 15-year-old Dolphins swimmer Aaron Siegle, who won the race for the second straight year, completing the course in just under 21 minutes. Dolphins swimmer Owen Miller, 14, finished second, with former Dolphin Luke Sanneman taking third place. Senior Dolphins swimmer Olivia Miller (sister of Owen) led the women.
DSFederal was proud to sponsor this community event, and we hope that many more families will use pool season as an opportunity to teach their children how to swim. Happy swimming, and happy summer!