POTTSVILLE, Pa. — Linda Jones is the head coach of the Schuylkill YMCA Swimming Program. Kids age 5 to college age swimmers are training this summer at the JFK pool complex in Pottsville. Jones and her nearly 30 years of coaching has never see the "Y" program shut down, along with USA Swimming, the Olympicsand high-school leagues.
But the coronavirus pandemic took all that away, so now she is back training these kids for the upcoming winter season.
"Everyone is in the same boat. No one is competing. We are just trying to keep the kids motivated and keep them in shape," said Linda.
Ty Rabenstein from Blue Mountain high-school is here getting ready to go back to Clarion in the fall.
"I think that it is great that we are all here. I don't even have a season going on as of now, and it's great that we are here and stay in shape and have a fun time. And Linda is a great coach. I haven't been swimming my whole life. She got me quick up to speed and I think that everyone enjoys her here and her practices are great," said Ty.
Rylee Bolinsky from North Schuylkill swims for Monmouth. Her spring season was cut short back on March 9th. She now relies on Coach Jones for her training.
"So I was just kind of getting back into the water after breaking my foot so then it was cut short and I couldn't train again, so this program has actually helped me get back in the water since I haven't swam since December," said Rylee.
It's an early start for the middle school, high-school and college age kids. They are in the water around 7:30AM. The younger kids they get to sleep in a little bit longer.
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"I want to swim in college so. I kind of get to see what it will be like and how fast. Honestly I think that it is great and it pushes you a lot," said Nicole Domermuth.
"The weather today is good and I enjoy seeing all of my friends here especially when we workout together. And I am with some of my friends when we practice and it is good to talk with them especially during the pandemic," said Gavin Mentzer.
"It's unbelievable. We are just very fortunate that we have this facility because it's outdoors with the sun and we have been lucky with the weather this summer," again said LInda.
Steve Lloyd Newswatch 16 sports Schuylkill County.