Mixed reactions to new rules in the new pool

Bradley Bennett, Staff Writer

The mandatory swim tests which have been taking place over the past few weeks in the newly constructed aquatics center have yielded mixed reactions from students throughout the high school.

Although the school has mandated swim tests in the past, not all students in the high school had been tested, so the Physical Education department decided to implement a new swim test to ensure the safety of all students using the pool, Aquatics Director Thatcher Woodley said.

“We want everyone in the high school to be safe in the event of a water emergency,” Woodley said. “If you do not complete the swim test, you will be encouraged to take a ‘learn to swim’ program as part of your PE rotation.”

“We want the aquatics program to be really diverse, because there’s so much you can do in a pool besides swimming,” Woodley said.

A number of students spoke positively about the swim test.

“I thought the swim test was going to be annoying, and I didn’t want to do it at all,” Amanda Katiraei (10) said, “but it was actually really fun for me because they let us choose our lane, so I was able to swim with my friends.”

“I think the swim test is a very good thing for the school to have because we have a really amazing pool and being able to swim is a really valuable skill,” Eli Scher (10) said.

“It was a little annoying to change into my swim clothes in the middle of the day, but it was definitely not as bad as it’s made out to be,” Roey Nornberg (11) said.

However, many students did not enjoy their experience with the swim tests, or thought it was unnecessary, for varying reasons.

“For me, the swim test was very bad because I had it early in the morning, and it was a pain to swim and be soaking the rest of the day,” Armaan Kakodkar (10) said. “Also, the wait to do your laps was very long and sometimes they made you wait in the pool for a while.”

“I do Dance PE, so I didn’t see the point of having to take the swim test if I’m never going to use the pool,” Katiraei said, “it seemed a little unnecessary if you’re not doing the water polo or swimming team.”

“It was a negative experience for me because I had to bring my swimsuit and towels to school, it took time out of my day, and my hair was wet for the rest of the day,” Gunner Momsen (10) said.

The swim test consists of students swimming two laps back and forth in the pool, which totals 100 meters, followed by treading water for one minute, Robbie Werdiger (11) said.

“Now any time I have a free with my friends, I would definitely use the pool,” Werdiger said.

“I think the swim test is an important security measure that keeps all HM students secure in the pool,” Tyler Jonas (12) said. “Given this week’s hot temperatures, the swim test was a nice reprieve from the heat and a great opportunity to check out the new pool.”

“I actually ended up asking to stay in the pool after the swim tests were over, because it was really nice to be in the pool,” Nornberg said.

“One of the most important life skills is being able to swim, and now that we have a new pool it’s a great time to start using it,” Werdiger said.