Liverpool seeks youngsters to jump into swimming tradition

Miranda L. Pennock 09/30/10More articles
Miranda L. Pennock Liverpool girls varsity swimmers Kim BUrdo, 17, left, Julia Mondo, 16, and Antoinette Esce, 17, will help teach children the basics of swimming this fall. According to Esce, the swim lesson program is a great way to channel kids into the more competitive swimming arena.
The walls surrounding Liverpool High School’s pool are lined with names and dates — each signifying championships won by past and present swimmers.

Earning those accolades, though, often has started well before students reach high school. It starts with swim lessons where children learn the basics of strokes and form. The swim lesson program is particularly essential for third-graders who are privy to a free block of seven lessons.

“Once they’re in it, they’re in it for life,” said Brandon Genalo, Liverpool’s swim lesson program director and assistant coach for the high school girls varsity swim team.

According to Genalo, the program used to draw huge crowds, but has tapered off in recent years.

“We’re making a big push this year,” he said. “These things are available for all third-graders. Our lesson program is great.”

While lessons are open to children ages 7 and up during the school year, third grade can register for a block of free lessons. Registration for the fall program will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday Oct. 7 for third-graders only and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday Oct. 16, Nov. 13, March 12 and April 9 for all others at the LHS pool. Classes will be limited to eight children per class and registration is first come, first serve.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere [near] the person I am today without going through the Liverpool swim program,” Genalo said.

The program not only offers a chance for kids to learn how to swim, but is a chance for exercising and building friendships that last through high school and often well beyond. Genalo, who is a certified social studies teacher, is a graduate of Liverpool and went through the swim program, much like the students who teach lessons. Because of its rich history, he wants to see the program continue to be successful.

The proof of success is in the teachers as many members of the swim team step up each year to teach lessons to the younger children in the district.

“It’s a really great way to channel the kids and get them into the program,” said Antoinette Esce, 17, a member of the girls varsity swim team and one of the swim teachers.

According to girls varsity swim coach Zac Mekker, the pool opens at 5:30 a.m. and is used more than any other facility room in the school.

“We do everything we can so this pool remains open for the community,” he said.

As a community resource, the pool is available for open swim twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays, and swimmers do not have to be district residents to take advantage of the water.

For recreation or exercise, the pool is open to anyone.

For more information, e-mail Genalo at

CATEGORY: General Society
TAGS: Liverpool, swimming, lessons, third-graders
EDITION: Star-Review

Rating: 2.1/5 (12 votes cast)

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