Jackson Swim Team seeks new place to practice due to COVID-19

JACKSON, Tenn. — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. It has impacted the way we live and do things.

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One local swim team has also been affected by the pandemic.

Members of the Jackson Swim Team say they will have no where to go after losing their regular swimming practice location. They are now asking for help.

For years the team has been using the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus’ pool for practicing. Since COVID-19, leaders with the team say the pool has been closed.

“We were hopeful that we would be able to continue our regular lessons program, as well as our competitive swim practices,” said Jackson Swim Team Board President Frank Bowling.

They have been practicing swimming at the Jackson Country Club for some time, but that arrangement was only temporary.

Now the team will no longer have a facility for practices. Bowling says he also seen a drop in swimmers participating due to fear of the virus.

“We’ve lost 30 percent of our swimmers, lack of consistency and practice hours. More inconvenient hours where we are used to and accustomed to offering for those swimmers,” Bowling said.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News spoke to a parent of two swimmers on the team. She says it has impacted her kids and others who are passionate about swimming.

“Just having the opportunity for kids to reach goals, be with other children in a safe environment,” said McKenzie Summerlin, who is the parent of kids on the swim team.  “So swim team just encompasses a lot.”

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“Up until this point, we’ve been dependent on other facilities that would open their doors for us to rent space for them,” Bowling said.

Summerlin says it affects more than just the kids.

“Also our coaches, who it might be a second or primary job for them. They’ll be out of a job too,” Summerlin said.

Both Bowling and Summerlin say they are pleading for help.

“We would look for any kind of interest in helping us secure a facility that would enable us to continue with our competitive swim team in particular,” Bowling said.

“We are just hoping to find a facility that would be willing to work with us, put safety first, but just provide a facility for swimming and to continue to be here in our community,” Summerlin said.

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