Pendleton youth dive into competition

CAMP PENDLETON — Children swam for the gold during Marine Corps Community Services’ sixth annual Splashin’ Olympics at Camp Pendleton’s 13 Area Pool, Aug. 4.
The young swimmers were divided into five different age groups for the daylong event. A life vest race, treasure hunt and hoop race were organized for the toddlers, while the older children were challenged with the butterfly and breaststroke races.
“We first heard about the event while attending my 6- and 9-year-old’s swim lessons,” said Marissa Massey, parent of two of the young competitors. “It’s great to see them in the water showing off what they can do.”
Inflatable sharks and foam noodles were used for the shark and seahorse races, which helped to keep the competition safe and fun for the aspiring Olympians.
“It gives them a sense of accomplishment to see that all the competitors walk away with at least a ribbon,” said Todd Wagner, parent to three boys competing in the events. “It helps remind them that during competitions, they should still be having a good time.”
The lifeguards were seated poolside with stopwatches and clipboards.
They also passed out the ribbons and medals at the end of each race, and swam alongside the children to ensure their safety.
“The lifeguard service makes it happen,” said Jason Torpey, manager, 13 Area Pool. “If it wasn’t for them, this event wouldn’t have come together as smoothly as it did.”
The 13 Area Pool also offers a Learn-to-Swim program, private swim lessons, a free Aqua Aerobics Class, a swim club for children ages 6 and older and Summer Swim Nights every Thursday to help military families escape the sweltering summer heat.

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