Swimming Your Way Through EHHS

Photo Credit: Alora McCarroll

There are many sports teams and clubs here at EHHS that don’t always get the recognition they deserve. One of these teams would be the swimming team. Leann Boisvert, the swimming coach, and an English teacher has helped create a team that symbolizes unity and draws in people from a variety of backgrounds. Although it’s only Ms. Boisvert’s second year coaching, she has brought in a variety of people from different backgrounds and schools. The team consists of students from not only East Haven but Wilbur Cross, Sound School, Co-op High School, and Hill House. There are eleven girls from the New Haven School District and seven from EHHS. The captains, Rebecca Flynn and Alaiana Robert, have both been on the team all four years of their high school career. They help to influence the younger players and guide them in the right direction. The Swim Team competes against towns and schools such as Hamden, Lyman Hall, Branford, Sheehan, Sacred Heart, Mercy, and Shelton. Each meet starts at 4:00 p.m. and how long each one lasts varies. Be sure to show support for their last meet Saturday, November 9th in East Hartford.

The Swim Team practices at Wilbur Cross Monday through Saturday. They hold two to three meets a week and when they’re not in the pool, if they’re not conditioning, chances are they’re doing team exercises to help strengthen their bond. The team attends corn mazes, festivals, and other fun exercises. It consists of eighteen members and the number grows each year. As she elaborated in the interview, Ms. Boisvert has made it so that each and every member feels comfortable. “In order for this to work, we need to see one another as family… We need to be able to fall back on one another,” Boisvert explained. The coaches are always looking for ways to improve the team from creating new workout plans to just supporting the girls in any way she can. She later explained how they do many team exercises that help build trust and comfort inside and outside of the pool. For those who wish to join, they have already started but they are always open to newcomers next season.

Since swimming is such a strenuous sport, it’s difficult to prepare newcomers to compete in meets their first year. If they didn’t have prior experience with being in the water, that individual would need to know the basics such as swimming techniques, breathing procedures, and just learning to be comfortable in the water. Some strokes you’ll learn would be the butterfly, freestyle, front crawl, and breaststroke. Ms. Boisvert claims: “People are slowly realizing how much work goes into it… I really want people to understand how hard each of my girls work. I’m proud and so should they.” She wishes that people could see how much her girls apply themselves to the sport and the commitment you would need by being on the team.

Another aspect of the swim team that may have gone unnoticed would be their fundraisers the team holds quite frequently. Not only do they hold them for support of their team but they help bring awareness to the Lion Heart Foundation. This is a committee that raises money to help find a cure for breast cancer. The SCC swim teams all participate in supporting this cause by dressing up, holding fun events for the public, having bake sales, and other creative events.

Each and every girl on the swim team put their all into the sport, their passion is portrayed out in the water and our school should be proud of their progress. Each meet is funded by the Lion Heart Foundation and they help support them as well. Our girls had eleven meets this year and since the season is almost over, they will be conditioning and preparing themselves for the next year. At each meet, every girl’s main focus would be to top their previous time. When this happens, the athletes are often rewarded with a lollipop and a sense of pride knowing they’re improving.

Not only have they brought in girls from other schools but it’s helped them truly find themselves. It’s set up many opportunities for their future and the team provides memories these girls can carry with them for future years to come. The team is continually improving and Ms. Boisvert hopes to have the team in better shape and more organized as the next season rolls around. We can only hope to see recognition by the school of the girl’s dedication and to see the team flourish for years.