New Generation Swimmers offering swimming camp to San Pedro Kids

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

New Generation Swimmer; Brandon Santos, Joey Melgar & Eric Donis

A group of athletic and dedicated young students from San Pedro High School plan to host the first ever New Generation Swimming Youth Camp this July to offer lessons and guidelines for kids, ages 9 to 12, teaching them the basic techniques  and safety rules of swimming . In a letter sent to The San Pedro Sun the group stated that they will be holding the swimming camp in front of the Holiday Hotel from July 2nd to 7th, 2012 and they have begun visiting schools to drop off signup forms for kids who want to take part. Spearheading the group is Eric Donis, the teenage triathlete who was the driving force behind the recent Healthy Reefs, Healthy People Swim challenge, an avid competitive swimmer and aspiring Olympic athlete for Belize. Eric believes that swimming would be a great alternative for the island youth as an activity for them to be involved in during the long summer months of their vacation.

When asked, the swimmers all agreed that they find it surprising that despite living on an island, swimming seems to be something that is much underappreciated as a sport or activity within the community. To them, it’s hard to imagine that with such beautiful waters as we have here on Ambergris Caye, swimming is not more popular or encouraged among young people. They hope to change that as well as the way people look at swimming in an attempt to see the sport progress and become a bigger part of the lives of our youth. Eric says he loves swimming, he loves it as a sport and he would like to see more people getting involved in swimming on the island and he believes that by offering camps such as the one they are planning they will be able to introduce competitive swimming to a new generation. In addition to its competitiveness, swimming is also a very healthy activity to be involved in and gives children something positive to do while out of school for the summer. “It’s a way for them to get out and be active, help them to be fit, and give them something else to do other than sitting down playing Nintendo DS or PlayStation at home all day,” says Eric.

The group of young athletes includes Eric, Joey Melgar, and Brandon Santos who are all third form students of San Pedro High School. They are anticipating that with the help of the community and donations from businesses on the island they can provide goggles and healthy snacks for the children during the swim camp. They are also hoping that the community can look favorably upon their efforts to help promote swimming to the children on the island as a sport and assist them financially with their school expenses for the next coming school year.

Businesses and residents who would like to offer assistance and/or donations to the swim camp and those who may be willing to offer scholarships or financial support for the New Generation Swimmers’ education can contact Pamela Zetina, mother of Joey Melgar at 604-6630 to find out how they can help.

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