FORT GORDON, GA (Oct. 25, 2018)-- Fort Gordon Aquatics is making strides toward achieving its goal of establishing a nonprofit swim team.
Tamara Moser, Aquatics manager, and Elise Shank, Aquatics assistant manager and swim coach, hosted U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) swim clinics Oct. 17-18. The clinics were led by USMS Chief Operating Officer Bill Brenner of Sarasota, Florida.
Shank said the main purpose of the clinics was to introduce the community to USMS and the benefits it can provide. She recently relocated to Fort Gordon from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where she served as a certified Masters coach.
"The program at Fort Bragg was insanely successful, and if you look at the other military bases, it's something that Soldiers and their family members are interested in," Shank said.
U.S. Masters Swimming is a program that encourages adults of all ages and abilities "to swim for health, wellness, fitness, and even competition in swimming pools and open water venues," according to its website.
"It isn't about how far you can swim ... it's about having a coach on deck that's going to help motivate you, help understand what your goals are, and then can also help with your stroke techniques," Brenner said.
Swimming helps with toning and weight management, personal growth, improved fitness level, and improves cardiovascular health and conditioning. Overall, swimming tends to encourage positive health habits instead of negative -- which is essential for everyone -- especially active duty Servicemembers and Veterans.
"Many of them are not going to want to run, because they were forced to run or they're injured, and they don't know how beneficial aquatics can be because they were never introduced to it," Brenner said. "There are a lot of people finding this as a good form of therapy not only for physical but also for mental purposes."
There are nearly 70,000 members and 1,500 Masters Swimming programs around the world. Anyone 18 or older can become a member for a small fee. Membership includes insurance coverage and exclusive access to resources such as online training and discussion forums, invitations to events, special discounts, printable workouts, and more.
Perhaps a less obvious benefit membership includes, Moser said, is the social aspect.
It's just a good time," Moser said. "You get to swim with likeminded people, and you get to push somebody -- and yourself -- to be better."
The USMS clinics generated interest from several people who want to join. As coach, Shank said she envisions conducting swim sessions about four times a week. She also plans to establish a social calendar with opportunities for members to meet up outside of swimming.
Registration can be completed online at www.usms.org. For more information about prospects of a Fort Gordon team and upcoming events, call (706)791-3034 or stop by the Fort Gordon Indoor Pool, located at Building 21608, Barnes Avenue.
Those not interested in joining a team are also encouraged to stop by the pool.
"Bring your swimsuit and come see what we got going on," Moser said. "We like to have fun here ... we enjoy what we do, and it's a big social aspect."