BOZEMAN – Swimming is an excellent pastime. It’s fun to do, it’s great exercise. But it can be pretty intimidating and down-right dangerous if you don’t know how to do it. That’s why the Bozeman Swim Masters is putting on a free clinic for adults who don’t exactly know how to stay afloat.
“Most of them are afraid to put their to put their face back in the water. They have no concept of what to do,” said swim instructor Sue Harkin.
Thats one of the program’s instructors Sue Harkin, who’s specialty is solving swim related problems just like that one.
“Swimming is about techniques and so as soon as they get the techniques which they get in about two lessons they are off and swimming,” Harkin continued.
One of the programs success stories is Meredith McDonald, who before joining the program really rolled the dice every time she went in the water.
“If I was in a lake or a pool or playing around it was just doggies paddle and I didn’t know how to breath in the water or anything,” McDonald told us of her prior swimming experience. “I don’t know how I survived.”
” After they’ve been here for a couple of lessons they can go jump in the deep water,” said Harkin. “They can tread water for a minute and they can and then swim down 50 meters length of the pool and they don’t believe it, that they could do that. But they can.”
“I am a lot more confident,” added McDonald. “It’s still going to take a lot of practice but I think now I feel better about going to the gym and doing some laps in the pool. I feel like I’m not going to drown.”
And that’s the BIG reason the program is underway here in Bozeman. To give students the skills to prevent possibly tragedy.
“It an literally save someone’s life,” Bozeman Master’s swim coach Janelle Higashida said. “It actually also has saved a couple of our members lives through other people knowing how to swim, them knowing how to swim.
Even though the treasure state is not considered a swimmers paradise, knowing how to keep your head above water is always a good idea.
“In Montana we might not be the most strong swimming or fitness community from that regard, but we have world class fly fishing, rivers, tons of opportunities to be in and around the water with family and friends,” added Higashida