Most activities that take place at La Cañada Flintridge Country Club are strictly members-only, but this year children from throughout the community are being invited to swim with the Sharks — the club's long-running swim team.
Lexie Dreyfuss, director of the club's aquatics program, said offering swim time to nonmembers not only makes the facilities an asset for local families, but allows the aquatics program to operate beyond the regular summer session and into the school year.
The Sharks swim team's summer sessions, according to league requirements, are still exclusive to members of La Canada Flintridge Country Club.
"A year-round team was never offered when I was here,'" said Dreyfuss, 19, who started swimming at the club 13 years ago. "I wish there had been one — it gives kids an opportunity to work out, keep in shape and hopefully prepare for the summer."
So far, the open invitation seems to be working — some 50 swimmers ages 6 to 17 signed up for fall sessions, and about 25 to 30 kids are enrolled this spring.
A recent visit found a small group of swimmers working with coach Emily Kidd on their breaststrokes and butterflies. Valentine Sinclair, 9, of Glendale held on to a kickboard for some of the exercises.
"I started swimming here last year," said Valentine, whose family has since become members of the club. "I like it because [the water] is cold, even when it's summer."
Classmate Jack Maroun, a 9-year-old Glassell Park resident, said he's forgone most other sports in favor of swimming.
"It's like you're flying," he said.
On April 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, the Sharks will host a poolside carnival at La Cañada Flintridge Country Club, 5500 Godbey Drive, to raise money for swim lane lines that need replacing. Wristbands allowing access to the pool, a bounce house, snacks and carnival games cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door.
For more information on the team and the carnival, visit lcfsharks.swimtopia.com.
Sara Cardine, email@example.com