In Other Words: Proposed facility will greatly impact local swim clubI wanted to take this opportunity to applaud the recent recommendation presented to the Mitchell City Council to build a community center for our community. I would also like to recognize Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and Dakota Wesleyan University for their commitment to this proposed project, as well as the spirit of cooperation exhibited by all three entities. I would specifically like to positively address the inclusion of a swimming facility into this project.
By: Allan Miller, The Daily Republic
I wanted to take this opportunity to applaud the recent recommendation presented to the Mitchell City Council to build a community center for our community. I would also like to recognize Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and Dakota Wesleyan University for their commitment to this proposed project, as well as the spirit of cooperation exhibited by all three entities. I would specifically like to positively address the inclusion of a swimming facility into this project.
The Mitchell Aquatic Club, of which I am president of the board, has been greatly impacted by the lack of adequate swimming facilities in the Mitchell community over the past year. As a team, we visit many cities in South Dakota for swim meets as well as camps and events. We visit Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City and see the types of facilities that these cities have. But moreover, we also visit other locations such as Watertown, Brookings, Yankton and Pierre, and all possess indoor pool facilities and most indoor aquatics centers in addition, that serve as health and fitness centers for the community. All of these cities have indoor swimming facilities, some more developed than others, but they have them.
I didn’t grow up swimming competitively, but spent many hours as a youth at the outdoor pool in the summer. I basically taught myself to swim during those years, refusing to go to lessons, but learning to swim on my own. During my formal education at Dakota Wesleyan University, the athletic tide at that time was life long sports, attempting to instill in our youth a love of sports that can be played or performed the entire lifespan of a person. Swimming is one of those sports.
About a year ago, I started swimming in our master’s program and fell in love. It has been one of the most positive physical activities I have ever performed, to include basic training in the military. The sport has so many possibilities for all age groups, as a conditioning regimen for our athletes in other sports such as basketball and football, as well as any sport offered. It is a great way for older adults to stay in shape and a wonderful activity for our even older adults because of the lack of impact on bones and joints. I consistently see news stories and articles on new activities that are done in the water that keep people active in their later years of life.
The Mitchell Aquatic Club will definitely benefit from a permanent indoor facility being built in Mitchell. We have been in “survival” mode over the last year, practicing in other locations such as Huron and Madison, both of which have very nice facilities for their community, to establishing a temporary facility in town so that we may practice in town as much as possible, to looking to other cities to help us in hosting meets at their facilities due to fundraising opportunities for our team.
The city and businesses have also seen a loss of revenue due to the loss of these meets. Each meet brings approximately 200 to 250 swimmers, with families, for a minimum of two days and most times, three days. Tax dollars as well as the service and hotel industries are directly impacted by the loss of these meets. These dollars may seem small but when there is so much competition for events that bring people to our city, every event that can be held helps; but moreover, bringing people to Mitchell and having them explore our great city, I am very proud to reside in Mitchell and enjoy bringing people here to have them experience it.
The proposed facility will greatly and positively impact our team, there is no doubt. But this proposed facility is much more than that. It is a project that can positively impact our community, all ages, and all walks of life. It has the power to positively impact and touch all of our residents and community members. The proposed facility is a great step forward for Mitchell.
Allan Miller is president of the Mitchell Aquatic Club board.