Competitive swimming is starting to loom larger in the world of competitive sports. An opportunity for youth from ages six to 18 to participate in this area has been enhanced with the advent of the Williamsport Area Swim Club (WASC), founded in 2006.
According to the club’s website, “The mission of The Williamsport Area Swim Club is a comprehensive swim program committed to the development of competitive swimming and character in and out of the water. WASC strives to achieve the highest potential for all its swimmers.”
Their vision is to promote a new level of coaching and swimming to the greater Williamsport area by providing a year-round program that emphasizes technical instruction, character development, and national exposure at USA meets. This program is designed for various levels of participation and integration into a broader community base.
WASC is set up as a not-for-profit coach-directed program. The WASC values the development of the person and athlete by forming a sense of individuality as well as team participation and a strong work ethic. This process will incorporate self-confidence, leadership skills, sportsmanship, respect, forming new friendships, and a caring attitude. This program participates in national and international competitions sanctioned by United States Swimming Inc, the national governing body for amateur swimming in the United States.
The Williamsport Area Swim Club (WASC) is affiliated with USA Swimming with the main purpose to share the sport and values of swimming with as many people as possible. WASC has opportunities throughout the year for all ages a master’s level for 18 and older, Gold/Bronze/Silver for ages 9+ that can compete in events throughout PA, and water sprouts for children five and up to develop skills to enjoy swimming for a lifetime. The swim club teaches life skills and is a great form of exercise, but also how to be a team member.”
The club utilizes the YMCA pool in Williamsport and the Williamsport High School pool, and when there may be a need for an additional pool to use, perhaps for a large meet, they may also use the East Lycoming YMCA pool.
Kelli Smith has two sons who are members of the Williamsport Area Swim Club, one is at the older end, and the other is just getting started at the younger end.
“My older son really likes the flexibility that swimming with the WASC allows him,” Kelli told Webb Weekly. “It provides him the flexibility of time to be able to compete in other sports if he wants to. My younger son is really enjoying his experience being involved at the younger level.”
The club competes in swim meets throughout a wide region. The next swim meet for Bronze/Silver/Gold level swimmers is located in Mechanicsburg, February 18-20. The last meet was January 7-9 in Carlisle, in which quite a few of the swimmers who attended broke personal records for times in events including Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Butterfly as well as the combination event such the Individual Medleys.
The club also has fundraisers, including the Firecracker 5K on the 4th of July and the lumberjack triathlon on August 7, 2022.
The WASC accepts members throughout the year at all levels.