The Castle Pines Storm is a summer recreational swim league that breeds a love for the sport, coaches say.
“I like to see how — especially with the 6 and unders — it can develop a love for swimming,” said Rachel Stanek, an assistant coach and senior at Rock Canyon High School. “It helps kids find something that they are passionate about.”
The Castle Pines Storm swim league is coming up on its eighth season. The program begins the day after Memorial Day and ends in the third week of July. Practices are held on weekdays at the Castle Pines HOA 1 pool, 7233 Tenby Way. There are typically about 90 to 100 swimmers, ages 5 to 18 years old.
There are no requirements to join, as long as participants are able to make it down a 25-meter pool unassisted. The co-ed program is divided based on age and ability.
There are five swim meets starting in early June and ending in July. Participants may qualify for championship and all-star meets, which are both held in mid-July.
The cost is $160 for the season, which includes several activities, such as a kickoff pancake breakfast, a big and little mentor program, a 13 and older dinner, a 12 and younger bowling activity with the coaches, a tie-dye party, pep rallies, a community service project and more.
Castle Pines Storm is now looking for families and children in Castle Pines North, Highlands Ranch and surrounding areas to join the league, which has made strides in recent years.
Five years ago, the team was at the bottom of the D Division of the Mountain Hi Swim League, an amateur swimming league that serves the Denver metro area. With the help of head coach Christina Kwon and her seven assistant and junior coaches, the team has exceled to the top of the B Division.
“I think of how they can learn the proper stroke and technique and understand the rules of swimming, as well as have fun,” said Kwon, who also coaches the Highlands Ranch High School boys swimming team. “We work hard but we tend to have a lot of fun at practices and meets.”
Stanek swam on the team for six years before she became a coach three years ago. She recalls how the league fostered her love for swimming and hopes it does the same for other swimmers.
“I saw how the program had the ability to develop young swimmers,” she said. “Swimming has always been one of my passions, so decided that I wanted to help younger generations.”