Rec Center provides swimming lessons

Marshall University’s Recreation Center (Rec) is providing in person swimming lessons and group swimming classes.

The classes have come with changes as the COVID pandemic continues.

Vincent Murphy, a lifeguard for the Rec, talked about the guidelines.

Murphy said, “Instructors are wearing plastic face shields while in the water. Everything is being thoroughly sanitized, and the Rec staff is very stern about enforcing the guidelines. The class sizes are also much smaller, and anyone who wants to use the pool must reserve it ahead of time.”

Murphy said other guidelines The Rec is taking include self-screenings by staff as well as participants, mandatory wearing of face masks when entering or exiting the building and social distancing. 

The swim classes and lessons have differing times and a wide age range.

“The group swim classes are 40 minutes, and the private swim lessons are 30 minutes,” Murphy said. “We have classes for people as young as toddlers, all the way up to adult classes.”

The ongoing COVID pandemic has caused changes in how many people are participating in swimming lessons.

“It’s a lot slower,” Murphy said. “With the pandemic going on, I expected less people to sign up for lessons and classes, and that has definitely been the case.”

Katelyn Roberts, a lifeguard for the Rec, said this fall has been completely different.

“I currently have no group swim lessons or private lessons,” Roberts said. “It is completely unprecedented for me to not have any classes, as under normal circumstances I am heavily booked.”

Some of the changes the Rec has made to the guidelines have been appreciated by the community.

“Rec members seem to appreciate being able to reserve swim times to guarantee themselves a spot when they arrive,” Murphy said. “Normally the pool is first come, first serve, and if someone we’re to arrive too late, they may not have a spot. Under our new guidelines, if a person makes a reservation, they will have a place to swim.”

Murphy said the overall response from the community has been positive after using the pool.

“From what I can tell, people seem to feel safe using the facilities,” Murphy said. “We have a strong set of guidelines and they are constantly being enforced by the staff.”

The swim school schedule can be viewed on The Rec’s website, and private lessons are available by appointment.

Alex Jackson can be contacted at [email protected].