Swim teams for kids in Champaign-Urbana and beyond
Champaign-Urbana offers plenty of options if you are interested in participating in swim teams. Whether you are looking for summer teams or year-round opportunities, Champaign-Urbana has many choices designed to meet your family’s needs.
chambanamoms thanks the Urbana Park District for presenting this post.
Urbana Park District wants you to know that you can buy 2023 memberships and passes to Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center.
Buy a season-long membership or purchase a five or 10-admission punch pass. Buy the memberships and passes in person at Phillips Recreation Center or Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center. Passes are valid from May 27 – September 4, 2023.
Most teams are geared toward children ages 6-18. They encourage team building skills and motor development, and support social learning.
Many teams offer pre-swim team options for children who aren’t yet comfortable with various swim strokes or who need to work on building their stamina and endurance for practice. These are great opportunities for children to practice their skill development ahead of joining a swim team. If you’re looking for swim lessons instead, we’ve got a separate article for those here.
Summer swim meets typically take place on the weekends before pools open to the general public. If you haven’t purchased your pop-up tent, rolling carts, and bag chairs, you might want to consider it before the summer begins. They come in very handy for the hot summer sun and poolside viewing. During year-round swim meets, it is encouraged that families invest in some comfortable portable chairs. Surprisingly, many indoor spectator and waiting areas are cooler than expected, so it is important to dress in layers.
A highlight of many swim meets is visiting with families of other swimmers and sharing in the swim experience with them. Coffee runs, donuts, and breakfast spreads help to achieve camaraderie amongst parents waiting on their children’s races.
A few insider tips for parents:
- Parent volunteers are always needed and encouraged to help swim meets run more smoothly.
- Being a timer, though it may sound daunting, often gives you the best view available for watching your child in the pool.
- Swim parents always have access to Sharpie markers. They allow children to visually track the races on their arm or foot and do not wash off in the water.
- Have a spare pair of goggles and an extra swim cap because it never fails … your kids will lose them or they might break right before their race.
- Flip flops are always convenient to have for pool showers.
- Remember, swim team is fun. Your children are working to better their individual times, so celebrate their personal bests.
- Ask questions. Parents who have been around the swim team scene are usually eager and willing to help new team members.
- Pack your favorite healthy snacks for swim meets. It is important for swimmers to stay hydrated so be sure to throw in some extra water bottles or sport drink mix.
For more information about summer or year long swim team options, be sure to check out the respective teams below. Click on the links for team websites.
Year-round swim team options located in Champaign-Urbana
The Heat practices at the Stephens Family YMCA and features flexible scheduling for practices. Participants are required to attend two practices per week but may select options practicing on a more frequent basis depending upon group placement. Short-course swimming takes place from August-March and long course swimming season runs from April-July. Minimum swim requirements for Sparks, their entry level group, include being able to swim a 25-meter freestyle and 25-meter backstroke without an instructor’s support. All participants must be evaluated by a swim coach and will be placed in the appropriate group level for their abilities. A participant may try three practices for free before committing to the organization. Detailed information can be found here.
The Tiger Sharks practice at the Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center. Practices are based on ability level of the participant rather than age. An evaluation is recommended by the swim coach in order to determine the most optimal practice grouping. Detailed information can be found here.
Summer swim team options located in Champaign-Urbana
These summer-based teams practice at the Champaign Country Club and are open to club members. They feature sharks and minnows swim for those 5 and under. The championship swim and dive team is open to children 5 and up.
The Sholem Sharks practice at Sholem Aquatic Center from May-July. Pre-swim team is available to children ages 4-7 and fills up quickly. Children must be comfortable with putting their face in the water and be able to participate in swim instruction for 30 minutes. The swim team is suggested for ages 5-18. Participants must be able to swim a 25-yard freestyle stroke with their face in the water. Practices typically take place in the mornings before the swimming pool is open to the general public. For more information, click here.
In order to join the Indian Acres swim team, children must be members of Indian Acres Swim Club. A limited swim team membership is available for those wanting to attend morning practice and swim meets only. Detailed information can be found here.
Practices and local meets are held in the heated pool at Lincolnshire Fields Country Club. Information for 2023 has not been provided at this time.
Practices and local meets are held at Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center. Pre-team is available for youth up to 8 years of age and have completed Urbana Park District’s intermediate swim lessons. Nadiators 1 is designed for children ages 9-12 who are able to swim 25 yards of freestyle and backstroke. They need to possess a general knowledge of breaststroke and butterfly, as well as be able to withstand practice for one hour in duration. Ages 13-18 who demonstrate knowledge of all swim strokes and can participate in 1.5 hours of practice are recommended for Nadiators 2. Find more information on page 41 of the summer program guide.
Swim teams located beyond Champaign-Urbana
Practices take place at the Clinton Community YMCA and are available throughout the year, as the Otters participate in the YMCA competitive season.
Summer swim practices take place at the Monticello Family Aquatic Center on weekday mornings. Swim team is designed for kindergarten age up to 18 years old. Participants should be able to swim one length of the pool (25 meters) and make three practices a week in order to compete at meets.
Details about pre-team and swim team can be found on the team website, along with practice schedules, meet schedule, and updated practice group definitions.
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