ST CROIX — Since 1972, the St. Croix Swimming Association has encouraged the development of Virgin Islands youth through competitive swimming by way of the St. Croix Dolphins Swim Team. This non-profit 501(c)3 organization was established to provide a swimming facility and coaching resources for children and adults on St. Croix. Located on the campus of the Good Hope Country Day School, the facility includes a 50-meter, six-lane competitive pool, along with a shallow 15-meter heated learnto- swim pool. The St. Croix Swimming Association has faithfully promoted the sport of swimming and youth fitness on island while emphasizing the importance of healthy living, fitness, sportsmanship, and education.
From learn-to-swim classes of all ages to their competitive Dolphins Swim Team, the St. Croix Swimming Association is committed to helping people gain confidence in and out of the water. The two key values of the St. Croix Dolphins are:
- “Every Child a Swimmer”
- “Friendship Through Competition”
St. Croix Dolphins place greater emphasis on learning, practice, development, and sportsmanship than winning. Participation in competitive sports yields valuable lessons and personal growth that surpass the impact of mere medals and trophies. The Dolphins Swim Team honors these values by offering a full range of swimming programs to meet the level and goals of any swimmer from beginners to those learning to swim and those competing at national and international levels. Several members of the Dolphins Swim Team go on to compete in swim meets around the world, on college swim teams, or as members of the USVI National Team that competes in the Olympics.
In 2003, the St. Croix Dolphins Swim Team launched the “Every Child a Swimmer” program to teach third-grade public school students how to swim for free as part of their physical education curriculum. The program is made possible through the generosity of the community and the sponsorship of local businesses and the U.S. Virgin Islands government. Drowning, a leading cause of accidental death in children 14 years and younger, underscores the vital importance of teaching children to swim. Beyond the joy and health advantages, swimming skills can be a lifesaver. Even though the USVI is surrounded by beautiful beaches and coral reefs, many Virgin Islanders do not know how to swim or feel uncomfortable in the beach or a pool. The program aims to close this gap by reaching students at an early age.
January 7, 2024 marked the 20th anniversary of the St. Croix Dolphins Swim Team’s Annual Sea Swim. Open to swimmers of all ages and abilities, the one-mile race began with a leap off the Frederiksted Pier into the calm blue waters on St. Croix’s west end and finished with a barbeque and awards at Rainbow Beach. It’s one of the main fundraisers for the St. Croix Dolphins team and sees great participation from the local community and visitors to the island.
Written by Anquanette Gaspard