CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — Southern West Virginia finally has its own swim team.
The Chief Logan Rec Center has hired Kristy Schroeder, a Madison resident, to coach a competitive swimming team made up of kids from all across the coalfield region. The team will be called the Southern West Virginia Swimming Club.
Schroeder said she is excited to start the first swim team in the coalfields.
“I think this is the perfect time to start a competitive swim team because everyone just watched the Olympics,” Schroeder said. “I’m excited to start the first competitive swim program in southern West Virginia.”
Schroeder said her goal is to get the team ready by February in all four competitive strokes.
Schroeder, who is also a third grade teacher at Chapmanville East Grade School, said she hopes to work through the schools to get the information out to get kids involved.
“I want kids from all over southern West Virginia to know how to participate in the team,” Schroeder said.
Rec Center Director Terry Mullins said she believes Schroeder is a good choice to be the first-ever southern West Virginia swim team coach.
“She’s really enthusiastic and has a good plan,” Mullins said. “Interviewing her, she seems like her heart is really in it. She wants to have a swim team in the water by October 6 and we’ve already had a lot of people interested.”
Mullins said the competitive swim team is not just for kids in Logan County. Kids from all over southern West Virginia can join.
“We are realizing our dream of getting a swim team,” Mullins said. “That was one of our goals when the Rec Center was built.”
The Chief Logan Rec Center has an eight-lane, Olympic-sized competitive swimming pool. The state-of-the-art facility has already hosted one swim meet and instructors there have been giving swimming lessons to grade school students from every school in the county.
Schroeder comes to the Rec Center with a good resume.
She started swimming as a way to rehabilitate a broken arm to get ready for softball, but loved swimming so much she never returned to play softball, instead devoting her time to the pool.
She grew up near Richmond, Va., and swam on a competitive team there throughout school and that got the attention of Marshall University, where she swam on scholarship from 2007-2011. She also coached the Sleepy Hollow Swim Team.
Schroeder said she hopes to have a competitive team ready for competition by February.
“This is one of those sports that once it’s started catches on like wildfire,” Schroeder said. “I like it because it’s a team sport, but you are also personally motivated.
“I would tell kids to come try it out. It’s definitely different that other land sports and I think that’s why a lot of people like to do it. It’s a lot of fun. You get to be around your teammates and it’s just a totally different thing. I think kids really enjoy the team atmosphere and being in the water. It’s a really fun thing to do — not only when you’re a kid, but also all the way through high school.”
The Southern West Virginia Swimming Club will meet Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. and anyone interested in joining can call the Chief Logan Rec Center at 304-855-8591 for more information. Coach Shroeder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.