The swimming activities class, held at the Allred Aquatics Center for the first time, is teaching Chapman students basic swimming strokes and conditioning methods while embracing physical activity.The biggest thing, and I told my students this on the first day of class, is I want them to always have some physical activity in their lives. I think swimming could be it, because it’s such a great thing to do,” said Dennis Ploessel, coach of the swimming activities classes.Pam Gibbons coaches the other 50-minute, twice a week class. The classes are structured similarly.Ploessel and Gibbons separated each class of about 25 students into beginning and experienced swimmers at the start of the semester. The beginners are placed in the shallow end of the pool, and the advanced swimmers are placed at the deeper end.”We have a variety of levels of swimmers here. There are people who have swum competitively or played water polo on high school teams, and also those who are basic swimmers,” said Ploessel.Every class starts with a five-minute warm-up swim. Then, the beginning swimmers are taught a stroke or a swimming technique, and practice it for the rest of the period. For example, last week Ploessel taught his beginners how to do racing turns.”I only took swimming activities because I needed another gym credit. But I’ve always liked swimming, and I just love having this class because it’s a good workout twice a week,” said junior Jen Peters.Recently, Ploessel and Gibbons also implemented some conditioning work.”I like the conditioning aspect because it’s helped me get back in shape,” said sophomore Noel Kennedy.The experienced swimmers have also found the class beneficial.”I swam since I was six, and it’s great exercise and something fun during the day,” said freshman Madeline Roy.The more experienced swimmers also practice strokes after their warm-up.”Hopefully I can improve my strokes and become faster,” said Roy.Last year, the class was held at the Orange High School swimming pool. But with the opening of the Allred Aquatics Center, the class has become a more convenient option for students, said Gibbons.”The Allred Aquatics Center makes all the difference in the world in terms of parking and walking. Students are able to get to class on time because they don’t have to walk across the street,” said Gibbons. “Also, we now have a bigger pool and we can accommodate more students.”Even though the Allred Aquatics Center is outdoors and thus susceptible to the elements, Ploessel said that almost nothing would prevent class.”The only thing that will stop us is lightning and thunder. In southern California we think 60 degrees is cold. But if that’s the case here, we’re still going to get in the water,” he said.Ploessel, a lifelong swimmer, also said he wants his enthusiasm for the sport to rub off on his students.”I hope they are jazzed about swimming for the rest of their lives,” he said.
The swimming activities class, held at the Allred Aquatics Center for the first time, is teaching Chapman students basic swimming strokes and conditioning methods while embracing physical activity.