Spring has sprung and with just two months left of school before summer break, many families are already planning their kids’ summer activities. The most popular of these is swimming – not surprising for an island community with 5 pools (one public, four private) and numerous beaches!
So whether you’re an experienced swim-team family or you’re looking for swimming lessons for your young swimmer (or yourself), we’ve compiled this guide to swim teams (both seasonal and year-round) and swimming lessons offered on Mercer Island.
Mercer Island Summer Swim Teams
Mercer Island summer swim teams are organized through the Mercer Island Beach Club (MIBC), Mercer Island Country Club (MICC), and the Mercerwood Shore Club (MSC). All clubs participate in Division I of the Midlakes Summer Swim League with swim and dive meets taking place on Mercer Island and the Eastside. According to Midlakes League rules, young swimmers must be members of the clubs they represent to participate in swim team. Families who aren’t currently club members might consider a summer club membership at the Mercer Island Country Club (subject to availability). MICC also offers a Summer Swim Team Jr. program (currently available only for kids ages 13 and older).
Swim team registration is kicking off this month (April) for participants ages 5 to 18. The season takes place mid-May through the end of July. Swim meets begin mid-June. Learn more about the individual programs below:
Mercer Island Beach Club
Location: 8326 Avalon Drive, Mercer Island, WA
About: Founded in 1954, the Mercer Island Beach Club is the oldest swim team in the Midlakes Swim League and the oldest team on Mercer Island. It began with just 5 swimmers, and now MIBC regularly has about 150 young participants every summer. MIBC swim team members learn self-discipline, goal setting, and teamwork in a fun and supportive environment. During the summer, swim team members work on stroke technique, turns, conditioning, and having fun.
Thursday, April 20th – Registration night
Wednesday, May 10th – Swim team registration deadline
Monday, May 15th – Opening night / First Practice
Mercer Island Country Club
Location: 8700 SE 71st Street, Mercer Island, WA
About: Mercer Island Country Club’s swim team is the Silver Dolphins. The program offers swimmers, ages 5 – 18, a fun way to perfect competitive swimming stokes, develop starts and turns, and build physical fitness while swimming with others of the same age and ability. MICC summer swim team is a unique experience that promotes team-building skills, friendliness, and sportsmanship-like conduct in a supportive and caring atmosphere.
Wednesday, April 19th – Super Wednesday / MICC Aquatics Event about swim team, swimming lessons
Monday, May 15th – Preseason / Spirit Week begins
Wednesday, May 17th – Swim Team Parent Meeting
Links: MICC Website
Mercerwood Shore Club
Location: 4150 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA
About: Our focus at Mercerwood is to ensure that every swimmer feels a sense of accomplishment and achievement, win or lose. Mercerwood has a league-wide reputation for providing positive reinforcement for all our swimmers.
Sunday, April 23rd – Registration Opens
Monday, May 15th – First day of practice
Mercer Island Year-Round Swim Teams
Location: Mary Wayte Swimming Pool, 8815 SE 40th
About: Olympic Cascade Aquatics offers competitive swim teams for children ages 5 – 18. Teams are divided up by skill level (Novice, Junior, Senior). As one of the most successful competitive USA Swimming teams in the Pacific Northwest, OCA provides high quality professional coaching and preparation for success at the highest levels of competitive swimming.
Pacific Dragons Swim Team
Location: Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Mercer Way
About: Pacific Dragons Swim Team (PDST) is a newly established, year-round competitive swimming team affiliated with U.S. Swimming/Pacific Northwest Swimming. Led by Pacific Dragons’ outstanding coaches, PDST seeks to create a challenging and nurturing environment by supporting their swimmers to achieve excellence in competitive swimming. For kids ages 5+ who are ready for a competitive swim team environment.
Central Area Aquatics Team (CAAT)
Location: Mercerwood Shore Club, 4150 E Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA
About: The Central Area Aquatics Team (CAAT) started a new program on Mercer Island in September 2016. CAAT’s mission is “to build an inclusive community committed to exemplary performance.” CAAT is one of the top teams in the region (ranked #5 by USA Swimming) and was founded in 1982. CAAT operates sites in Central Seattle, West Seattle and now Mercer Island. Practices held at the Mercerwood Shore Club, but you do not need to be a member of Mercerwood to join the team.
Swimming Lessons on Mercer Island
Public swimming lessons are offered through the Mary Wayte Swimming Pool and the Stroum Jewish Community Center. Swimming lessons are also offered to members of the Mercer Island Beach Club, Mercer Island Country Club, and Mercerwood Shore Club (contact clubs for details).
Mary Wayte Swimming Pool
Location: 8815 SE 40th St, Mercer Island, WA
About: The Mary Wayte Swimming Pool is owned by the Mercer Island School District and managed by Olympic Cascade Aquatics, a MI-based company that manages aquatic services and youth swim instruction.
The pool is named after Mary Wayte who grew up and learned to swim on Mercer Island. She became one of the greatest female swimmers in American history winning five Olympic medals (including two gold) at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, CA, and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul South Korea.
Swimming Lessons: Programs and lessons are open to the public and available for infants (6 months and older), children, teens, adults, and seniors. Swimming lessons are offered year-round for a wide range of abilities and skill levels, from recreation to competitive. Participants will complete a swim assessment to determine skill level before they are placed in a swim class.
Stroum Jewish Community Center
Location: 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA
About: The Stroum Jewish Community Center (SJCC) has a 25-yard indoor pool and a 2 1/2 foot deep preschool instructional area, adult lap lanes, and a certified lifeguard on duty at all times. SJCC’s swim lessons have won several Golden Teddy awards from ParentMap for “Best Swim Lessons.” Open to the public, SJCC has daily pass options for $12 or a weekly pass for $25. To check the hours and availability for open swimming pool times, visit their pool schedule.
Kids’ Group Lessons: SJCC swim lessons are for kids ages 6 months – 12 years who want to learn how to swim either for fun or in preparation for joining a competitive swim team. If you have any questions about the programs, please contact the Aquatics Manager, Dominick Szabo, or call 206-388-0821.
Lil’ Bubblers: Ages 6 months – 3 years
For parents and their children, ages 6 months to 3 years. During the class, parents help their kids learn the basics of how to get into the water, how to blow bubbles, water safety tips, kicking, and floating (the baby steps to swimming on their own).
Spring Group Lessons: Ages 3 – 12
In each age-specific group, kids will learn fundamental swimming skills such as developing and refining different stroke styles. Groups are also divided by skill, and lessons are geared toward each group’s skill level.
Summer Swim (Three Sessions): Ages 3 – 12
For each session, kids will learn fundamental swimming skills such as developing and refining different stroke styles. Groups are also divided by age and skill, and lessons are geared toward each group’s skill level
Private Lessons: With award-winning swim instructors, SJCC offers private swim lessons for adults and children (ages 2+) from beginning and advanced swim levels. If you have questions about private lessons, please email PrivateLessons@sjcc.org or call 206-232-7115, ext 249. Visit the website to learn more about rates and packages available for members and non-members.
Special Needs Lessons: SJCC has special needs swim programs to help children and adults with special needs learn adaptive tools for safe and fun swimming practices, as well as helping them increase mobility, function, and strength through water exercises.
Nurturing Water Therapies Adaptive Swim Lessons
From the SJCC website: “Nurturing Water Therapies offers individualized water-based therapies, exercises, and adaptive swim lessons for those with physical, sensory, developmental, neurological, or other health challenges.” Learn more about this program on Nuturing Water Therapies’ website.
Adult Swim Classes: With numerous swim workout classes for adults ages 18+, SJCC offers classes that focus on aquatic fitness, swimming skills, and developing better stroke techniques. Skill level for each class varies from intermediate to advanced.
Swim workouts that focus on stroke technique, endurance, and overall swim fitness. All participants must be able to swim at least 100 yards doing the crawl stroke and have basic knowledge of back stroke and breast stroke.
This aquatic exercise class helps improve agility, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. No swimming ability is required.
This heart-pumping workout in the pool exercises your entire body with no added impact on your joints. Intermediate to advanced.
Does your child participate in swim team or swimming lessons? We would love to hear more about your experience! Please feel free to share with us in the comments.