To: Obama Students and Families
From: Swim & Water Polo Coach, Mark Rauterkus
Just to be clear, “Swimming is the best!”
We hope you come to the pool and find out for yourself why this is true. At the end of this newsletter, we’ll provide you with pointers to our schedule so you can start right away. But first, let’s look at a few of the many benefits of being an aquatic athlete.
Over the years, members of the swim team have always been high achievers in academics. Swimmers excel in the I.B. program, perform well on the tests, and thrive in the classroom.
Swimming and water polo are international sports. Water polo was the first team sport played in the Olympics. We all know how well the USA swimmers have dominated the world stage in swimming and more and more men and women of color are earning medals too.
Swimmers get jobs. Many become Citiparks lifeguards and get plenty of hours with a good pay in a fun job, with lots of responsibility. Others get to work with our PPS Summer Dreamers and become swim instructors, coaches and camp leaders with Swim & Water Polo Camp. In 2017, we’ll be able to work on the Northside in the mornings at The Pittsburgh Project with 140 campers, grades K to 12. And, we’ll have 80+ campers at U-Prep and Allegheny (on the Northside by the Aviary) in the afternoons.
Swimmers play SKWIM and Water Polo at Obama too. Offense, defense, passing, goal keeping, teamwork and sportsmanship are all part of play with others in the city and around the state. Older kids get to play with Masters squads against college teams too.
Swimming presents a time to be peaceful and calm in the water. Jumping in the pool clears your head. It gets your heart and all the muscles working. The fitness aspects for the whole body, without head injuries, make strong bodies and give confidence.
Swimming happens at throughout the school year, the school week and the school day – from 6 am practices, to weekends to afterschool and evenings. We’ve got some flexibility. We learn time management. We learn to communicate.
The Varsity Obama Swim Team has some of, if not the best, athletes in the school. We have won city titles, WPIAL gold medals and this year, Sead, Class of 2018, set a new WPIAL record. Our top swimmers have gone to the State Championships every year for the past eight seasons.
We want your future to include swim and water polo experiences. We make friends and keep them for years to come. And, we get into and are welcomed into the best colleges, in part, because of the lessons. leadership and skills we develop with the swim and water polo program at Obama. It is fun, challenging and rewarding.
See http://Swim.CLOH.org for insights into Underwater Hockey, Water Polo, SKWIM, Open Water and afterschool activities. Kids and guardians should subscribe to the Google calendar at CLOH.org and our Facebook pages: Pittsburgh Schenley Swimming and Pittsburgh Schenley Waterpolo.
Middle School practices in the spring – but confirm with the calendar as some travel dates are pending:
4 to 5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Obama with Coach Mark.
4 to 5 pm on Fridays at Obama as part of a service project with Sead.
Saturdays at Oliver High School on the Northside, 2323 Brighton Road, 11:30 to 1 pm.
High school swimmers are encouraged to join us at Pittsburgh Masters Water Polo sessions and with the Pittsburgh Underwater Hockey practices too.
On Monday evenings throughout the summer, we’ll do open water swimming at Moraine State Park and expect to have a car-pool or van. Departing the city about 4 or 4:30 pm.
On Tuesday evenings throughout the summer, we’ll be playing water polo and SKWIM at Citiparks Ammon Rec Center Pool, Bedford Ave and Memory Lane, weather permitting, of course.
Volunteer spots and some staff positions for our varsity kids remain open for mornings at The Pittsburgh Project on Charles Street and afternoons with PPS Summer Dreamers Swim & Water Polo Camps to happen at both PPS U-Prep in The Hill District and PPS King/Allegheny on the Northside.
From time to time, we’ll compete throughout the summer. Watch for events at North Park.
In August, we’ll gather for regular practices and make a water polo team and enter games and tournaments, with high school, middle school, and even adult (masters) levels. Let’s get in shape this summer, do a triathlon or two, and get cooking for next school year’s success.
Feel free to call me at any time:
Coach Mark Rauterkus
412-298-3432 = my cell