Olympic fever has spread all the way to Jacksonville.
Danielle Schnake is entering her second year as Aquatic Director at the Bob Freesen YMCA. Schnake says the strong swimming performances from Americans the 2016 Rio Olympics have motivated the Jacksonville community to jump in the pool.
“We get some interest every year, but nothing like this year. This year I’ve had so many more people call with interest in it, and I do think it is because of the Olympics. I had someone call me the yesterday who said, ‘My daughter was watching the Olympics and said, ‘oh I can do that.’ They see how much success Team USA has and they think that they want to try that and they want to succeed to be just as good as the Olympians,” says Schnake.
Schnake says there are roughly 25 members on YMCA’s swim team, which competes throughout the state of Illinois.
“They go to other areas, they go to Springfield, Champiagn, Bloomington, Chicago, they travel all over. Normally they start when they’re 6 and once they graduate high school they move on. We have people from Franklin, Pittsfield, I had somebody call me yesterday that said they were from Arenzville, so we get (swimmers) from all over,” explains Schnake.
While summer swim season has ended, practices for the YMCA’s Winter Swim Team begin on September 13th. The winter season runs 29 weeks until approximately March 31.
Registration for the Winter Swim Team begins on August 22nd. Contact Schnake at 217-245-2141 for more information.