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UNT Swimming and Diving holds swim camp to help DFW-area athletes improve their techniques

Article Originally Published by Trevon McWilliams on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily

Attendees of the UNT Nike Swim Camp cheer on other swimmers as they compete and try to improve their skills at the Pohl Recreation Center on June 5, 2019. Photo by Trevon McWilliams

The North Texas swimming and diving team hosted their annual Nike Swim camp from June 2 to June 5, which helped around 100 kids, ages eight to 18, from around the Dallas-Fort Worth area improve their swimming techniques with instruction from Division I coaches and athletes.

The camp is geared for kids who participate in competitive swimming to improve their times in different swimming styles such as front-stroke, breaststroke and butterfly, among others.

“I love running the Nike Swim camps,”said Brittany Roth, the UNT swimming and diving head coach. “It just sparks a renewed love and passion for the sport.”

Roth, who has been running the Nike camps for about six years, said she’s seen improvement for a lot of first-year attendees.

Jared Heidema, who is an incoming freshman at Wylie High School in Abilene, Texas, said he considered himself not a strong swimmer when it comes to butterfly and breaststroke.

Four brothers (left to right) Jonathan, Josh, Jared, and Jacob Heidema attended the UNT Nike Swim Camp together as a family on June 5, 2019. The Heidema family has been swimming for about a total of 10 years combined. Photo by Trevon McWilliams

“This camp has made me drop 30 seconds in my butterfly stroke,” Jared said. “The coaches are really friendly and you can really connect with them.”

Jared plans on bringing some of these techniques back to his school for his teammates who could not attend the camp.

Jared and three of his brothers, Josh, Jacob and Jonathan, all attended the swim camp for the first time this year.

“All of my boys for a combined 10 years now have been participating in competitive swimming,” Jared’s mom, Jennifer Heidema said. “They are typically competitive, so it’s good to see them come together and cheer each other on.”

Junior swimmer Leigh Faires McGee, who holds numerous school records for UNT, also served as an instructor for the camp along with other teammates.

“Helping them love or like it the way I do is really motivating,” McGee said. “As an elementary education major, I get to be around kids and it helps me be a better teacher.”

McGee also coached back home in Jackson, Mississippi for her old club team while being in school for a couple of years now.

She said that coaching could possibly be in her future but she is happy with teaching basic techniques to kids who really love the sport.

“I believe it gives a chance for our athletes a chance to see it from the perspective of a coach,” said David Garcia, a diving and swimming assistant coach. “Most of them go down the kinesiology track, so this gives them insight on how to be a coach if they decide they want to pursue coaching in their future.”

Roth even noticed that her athletes even become better as the years go by because of the camps.

“It makes them a smarter athlete,” Roth said. “When we have practice, light bulbs go off and it makes it easier to work with them because they know what I’m talking about.”

Giving back to the community is something Roth said she wants and loves to do and they [UNT Swim and Dive team] believe this is something that truly helps the Denton area grow.

“There are not a lot of club teams within the Denton city limits,” Roth said. “To have something like this gives the local kids an opportunity for learning from [division I] coaches and athletes.”

Featured Image: Jared Heidema, an incoming freshman at Wylie High School in Abilene, Texas, practices his butterfly stroke during the UNT Nike Swim Camp at the Pohl Recreation Center on June 5, 2019. Photo by Trevon McWilliams

Source: North Texas Daily

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