DOBBINS HEIGHTS — As we get closer to summer, there are a few things we all do, consciously or not, to prepare.
We may take an increased interest in exercising and diet, work on our summer wardrobe, all in preparation for water-related activities.
Last on your list is worrying about your ability to save yourself or a loved one should they end up in that water. But the ability to swim is on the list of things Dobbins Heights residents decided is among its most needed as defined in their Unity in the Community plan put together in partnership with FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
The town will offer swimming lessons at no extra charge (other than the $2 pool-use fee) for children and adults this summer, taught by instructors from the FirstHealth Fitness Center, according to Amy Forester, outreach manager for Community Health Services at FirstHealth. Forester said the lessons will allow residents to take advantage of one of their local recreational resources.
“We just want people to have opportunity and to offer it locally so people don’t feel like they have to travel,” she said. “You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer but you should be able to protect yourself.”
Town Councilmember Angeline David said she’s spoken to many residents, young and old, who have expressed interest in taking the lessons.
“It’s something to bring the community together even if it’s just healthy living,” David said. “We’re on a mission to get everything done.”
Forester said there are no exact dates for when the lessons will be offered, nor any decision on how many people will be in each class, but the plan is to have a registration drive on the first day the pool opens and to have the classes ready the next week. Opening day will be the weekend after school gets out, barring unforeseen issues discovered during the pool’s routine inspections.
Jonathan Pope, director of the FirstHealth Fitness Center, is overseeing the pool’s preparation for the open and the structure of the lessons. He said that with so many bodies of water in Richmond County, swimming lessons can give people the confidence to get the most out of their summer experience.
“It’s always nice to take a dip and you don’t want anyone to be scared to get in the water,” Pope said.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]