First year-round swim team in parish history gets started in Luling
Nu Wave’s Luling branch will give the parish its first ever year-round swim league. The team will have monthly meets throughout the season.
New Orleans' Nu Wave Swim Club is opening a year-round branch in Luling that will be coached by local resident Joy Stewart. Stewart has 10 years of experience coaching Mimosa's swim team and has also coached at Hahnville High School for the past three years.
Nearly 40 kids showed up for a two-week clinic that served as a precursor for the new team's upcoming season and Stewart expects 25 to 30 of those kids to join her this year.
“A couple of them were swimming year-round somewhere else, but now that it's in their backyard, they have changed over,” Stewart said. “The rest of the kids are new to the year-round swimming league.”
And while the season officially began on Sept. 2, anyone interested in joining the team can come out at anytime.
“Our first practice was Sept. 2, but they can still come out for the team,” Stewart said. “They can come out and try it for a week for free before making any commitment to the team.”
The team will be affiliated with the Nu Wave Swim Club out of New Orleans. Nu Wave trains swimmers by teaching proper technique and physical fitness.
Stewart has coached at the club for the past two years and was responsible for bringing the year-round swim team to her hometown.
“I was talking to the head coach there about how we could grow the team and I told him that there is this great community out here of kids who would love to swim year-round but haven't had the opportunity because there is no place in the area,” Stewart said. “So, it's a way for them to grow their team and for us to have an opportunity to swim year-round.”
Stewart says her team will have monthly meets. Those meets usually last an entire weekend - from Friday night until Sunday evening. They are held all over the state and sometimes regionally.
“Year-round swimming is getting more and more popular, especially because of people like Michael Phelps,” Stewart said. “That just helps advertise for the sport.”
Nu Wave is part of United States Swimming, which sanctions swim meets all the way to the Olympic trials.
“They set the qualifying times and standards,” Stewart said. “So, this is actually the track to the Olympic trials.”
But even if a child's goals don't include the Olympics, swimming still has a lot to offer.
“I think swimming is a great sport,” Stewart said. “It offers kids the chance to participate in a life-long exercise regimen that they can do forever. It also is unique in that it emphasizes the individual athlete, but yet you're still part of a team.”
For additional information about Nu Wave's Luling branch, contact Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org
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