The team just held a fund-raising Swim-A-Thon event in December at their home location in Warrensville Heights. They are looking forward to the 2013 season of competing.
By JAMES W. WADE III
Clevelandis proud to boast about the various activities among the city’s youth. Now there is a group of 30 east side swimmers, called the Stingrays, to be proud of. The East Side Stingrays swim team is helping to bring interest in Black swimmers by encouraging all minority children to learn how to swim.
Now in its third year, the Stingrays are comprised of children from four different of Greater Cleveland YMCA branches: The Southeast Family YMCA inBedford; the Warrensville Heights Family YMCA; the Hillcrest Family YMCA inLyndhurstand the Euclid Family YMCA.
The team was formed in 2010 with swimmers who could not swim so well and has grown incrementally since its inception to now include more than 30 swimmers who compete and continue to perform well. In the first and second years of the team, members of the Southeast Stingrays Boys Relay team advanced to the Cleveland State University League Championships.
The Stingrays uses the pool atWarrensvileHeightsHigh School,4270 Northfield Road,Warrensville Heights. “We love having this team out here, [there’s] nothing like helping out youth and keeping them off the streets” said Warrensville Mayor Brad Sellers.
Helping out the swim team is Eddis Singleton, a Clevelander who attempted to make the Olympic Swim team. TheEast Clevelandnative andShawHigh Schoolgrad was happy to help out with the young swimmers.
The smell of the pool, the drama of a big meet, the chance to make the top 16 in the 50 meter Olympic freestyle prelims to earn a semifinal spot after falling four places short at his first trials four years ago, Singleton has more reasons to keep coming back than he has obstacles preventing him. This is a young man who didn't even start competitive swimming until high school has enough of those. When he stopped swimming after the 2008 Trials for about two years, he figured he was done with the sport, he wasn't.
Singleton has become a role model to the young swimmers, who one day want to be trying out for the Olympics themselves.
The team is supported by a large group of parents that formed a board to assist in a vast variety of fund raisers, keeping the team viable for various swim meets. Deshon Milton serves as the president of the group and is always smiling when you talk about the Stingrays.
Over the years, many facts have been released about the affect swimming can have on your health. Swimming produces a wide array of health and social benefits for kids of all ages. It provides children with a fun aquatic activity that also promotes good health and social development skills. It's an aerobic form of exercise that also produces advantages for kids with disabilities. But as with any athletic activity, some risks do arise, especially with young children. Preventative measures help reduce these risks and allow swimming to be a safe, fun activity.
“In addition to the health benefits, swimming also taps into the social development of kids. Children swimming competitively or participating in swim clubs learn the importance of perseverance, sportsmanship, self-discipline and goal-setting. They develop relationships with teammates and learn the importance of responsibility and teamwork. In addition, it allows kids to socialize with their peers,” saidMilton.
The team just held a fund-raising Swim-A-Thon event in December at their home location inWarrensville Heights. They are looking forward to the 2013 season of competing.
For more information about the team call DeShon Milton (216) 402-5442; email@example.com