Seacats Summer Swim Club competes and practices at the local Columbian Aquatics Center behind Casey's Pub. The team also runs practice out of Eisenhower Pool, a Springfield Park District facility on the east side of town. This summer-only recreational program moved from its previous location due to facility decline and closure a few years ago. With their home facility becoming a safety hazard for competition, the parent-run organization had to move to it's current home at the CAC in 2016. Here this program rebranded its self and became the premiere team in the Mid-State Conference. Boasting three back-to-back summer conference championships in 2017,2018, and 2019, Seacats Swim Club provides the best training, the most coach-to-athlete availability, & training equipment for all athletes. This program works to help other programs within our conference as well as acting as a stepping-stone team from our lesson programs. In addition, the Seacats serve as the recreational version of our club team. Summer swimming is where local athletes first get a chance to fall in love with this sport and/or gain skills for life.
With all of the great things that the Seacats have earned and provided in the local swimming community, you may be asking yourself, "why does this historically successful program need community support?"
The answer to this is simple. The program is facing challenges due to new responsibilities placed on the club. CAC is a private club with a member-driven pool and is focused on leisure swimming. Therefore, the Seacats Swim Club is not a focus of the facility.
In the past, Seacats programs were able to run with only a one-time fee from each swimmer, with the goal of a short eight-week recreational season. This was enough for the team to thrive without sponsorship. With the move to a new facility, the team is now responsible for the upkeep of all items used to run our program, unlike before. Some of these items (i.e. lane lines, blocks, timing systems, clocks.) are extremely expensive upfront but last at least 10 years or more. These pieces of equipment are essential to running a successful program but cost more than the program can afford on its own.
Currently, the program is working toward replacing our facility's lane lines and one of the lane line reels. The ropes we inherited are covered in calcium deposits and have been breaking off in chunks every summer for the past four years, becoming jagged and sharp. Even now, pieces flake off everywhere on a daily basis. Two of the ropes remain on the ground every day because one of the old lane line reels finally gave way last summer, only compounding the issue. Replacing these lane lines and the reel, adds up to a $5,000 bill. We are currently focusing our fundraising efforts on this equipment to keep swimmers racing in a safe environment, but we need your help.