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Instruction, Competition at 42 Locations : Olympic Surplus Funds Swim Programs

Times Staff Writer

A “Summer Swim ’86" program of instruction and competition for thousands of young swimming beginners and advanced beginners got under way Monday at 42 Los Angeles city, county and YMCA facilities with funds provided by the foundation distributing surplus money from the 1984 Olympics.

The program is concentrated in economically deprived neighborhoods of South and East Los Angeles and neighboring communities, but there also are recreation centers involved in Hollywood, the Westside and Eagle Rock. In county facilities, the program is free to boys and girls 6 to 17 years of age, while in the city and YMCA centers, scholarships are available for the needy.

Sign-ups are going on now at the centers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Daily Instruction

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The program includes either two or four weeks of 30 minutes’ daily instruction in strokes, the racing start, competitive stroke turns, relay race techniques, long-distance swimming and the racing finish.

On Aug. 24, participants will be able to take part in a swim festival, a series of racing events to be hosted by the sponsor, the Amateur Athletic Foundation, at Roosevelt High School on the Eastside.

The program is being held at these sites: 17 county parks, including Athens, Atlantic Ave., Belvedere Community Regional, Bethune, Roy Campanella, George W. Carver, City Terrace, Enterprise, John Anson Ford, Helen Keller, Lennox, Mona, Eugene Obregon, Will Rogers, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ruben F. Salazar and Col. Leon H. Washington; 6 YMCAs, including East Los Angeles, Hollywood, MacArthur, Montebello, 28th Street and Weingart Urban Center; and 19 Los Angeles city recreation centers, including Central, Cheviot Hills, Costello, Downey, Echo Indoor Pool, Echo Park, El Sereno, Glassell Park, Griffith, Highland Park, Hollywood, L.A. Swim Stadium, Lincoln Park, Pecan, Rancho Cienega Pool, E.G. Roberts Pool, Roosevelt High School Pool, Ross Snyder and Yosemite.

At an opening ceremony, Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Donna de Varona told more than 50 participating Eastside children that Los Angeles residents are lucky because in much of the United States there have been severe cutbacks in funds for recreational and sports programs. American youth, she remarked, are being left “more physically unfit than ever before.”

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“The most important resource we have in this country are these kids around the pool,” De Varona said.


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