By Tina Ray/ParaglideJuly 29, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Evelyn Masterson, an Army spouse, watched swim coach Oscar Roverato work with her son, Ian, 7, at Normandy Pool, Monday.
Both Ian and Masterson’s 6-year old daughter, Isabella, took part in the Fighting Fish Swim Camp. Monday’s class was one, of three camps, that began June 27 and runs through Aug. 12, at Normandy and Pope Outdoor pools.
Roverato and members of Fort Bragg Fighting Fish, a competitive swim team, conduct the camp. Students must already know how to swim to participate in the camp, where they learn techniques for navigating in water that enable them to become better swimmers, Roverato said.
Masterson seemed pleased with everything her children were learning.
“I’m really happy and the coaches are really good. They are always on time; they are really nice,” Masterson said. “Oscar is really good and very organized. They (children) are learning to (freestyle) stroke. They are learning to swim on their back,” she said.
Isabella said her favorite activity is freestyle swimming. She also enjoys attending camp with her brother and learning tips to becoming a better swimmer.
“We push off the wall. We freestyle and we learn the backstroke and front crawl,” Isabella said.
“I like my coach. He’s (Roverato) nice,” Ian said.
“I love that they have so many coaches,” Masterson said, noting the ratio of coaches to children.
Typically, the ratio runs five youth to one instructor for level 1 and 2 swimmers, or those who feel comfortable in water and can enjoy it safely, and 10 to 1 for higher-level students who have true locomotion skills, said officials.
Though Julia Lopez does not live on Fort Bragg, the Army spouse said she prefers to drive to post for her 10-year old son, Steven, to participate in youth activities.
“My son has learned a lot and likes to come,” Lopez said. “I always bring my kids over here on base because I feel more safe.”
According to Roverato, one of the goals of Fort Bragg’s swim camps is to develop students who may eventually join the Fort Bragg Fighting Fish team.
“You don’t have to be a great swimmer to start with us.”
For more information about Fort Bragg aquatics, visit www.fortbraggmwr.com or call 643-8533.