The Brambleton Bettas Swim Team has just completed their best season yet, with a 5-3 record and 1st place win at Divisionals. In addition, the team sent 38 swimmers to All Stars, the most swimmers out of any other team in the Old Dominion Swim League (ODSL) - pretty impressive considering the more difficult cut-times this year. At All Stars, 11 new records were broken and the team placed 3rd overall.
The Bettas have seen tremendous growth in the last 6 years, where they started with just 18 swimmers. Today, the team consists of about 250 swimmers, including the Mini-Bettas. The success of the Bettas is due in large part to the coaching team consisting of head coach Jill Orton, assistant coach Adam Orton, Brambleton resident assistant coaches, Andrea Wardell and Jeff Darling, resident junior coaches, Caleigh Hensley, Veronica Smith, Michael Humphries and Sydney Black.
And of course, swim team parents play a crucial role to the team’s success where they serve in various roles as Board members, volunteers at swim meets and other swim team events, as well as several committees to include fundraising/sponsorship, concessions, spirit, social, etc.
Swimming is an individual sport as well as a team sport, and as big as a commitment it is, the payoff can be rewarding. The kids not only learn to become more proficient swimmers, they build self-esteem as they see how working harder makes them better. Each week, they are challenging themselves to beat their own personal records. As they compete with themselves, being part of a swim team, they have a support system that encourages them along the way. The sport requires early morning practices M - F, in addition to two meets a week. It’s a tough regimen that keeps them active, instills discipline and brings structure to the day. It certainly makes the summer fly by, and spending every day at the pool with their buddies is a bonus.
While swim team might not be for everyone, for those that participate, the love of the sport is infectious. Parents love watching the races and cheering everyone on as younger siblings wait in the wings, anxious to join. As the season comes to an end, swim team families are finally able to take their vacations, hoping to enjoy what’s left of the summer before heading back to school. Even after school starts up again, a number of swimmers will dive right back into the pool for fall, winter and/or spring swim in preparation for the 2012 season with hopes of beating more personal goals and maybe even breaking some records.
Congratulations to the Bettas Swim Team and everyone involved in this year’s success! The team looks forward to another great year in 2012.
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