Are We Really Swimming to Success?


Written by Oscar Scholin, Journalist

As summer begins to fade into memory, the infamous ninth grade swimming unit begins. Instructors from the Monterey Bay Swim Club come to P.G. High School in hopes of teaching students how to swim. However, ninth graders have differing opinions on whether or not the swimming unit is really as beneficial as it seems.

Fifty two freshman responded to a questionnaire about the swimming unit.  96% believe that they did benefit from the swim unit. One freshman, Jessie Pegis, said, “I do think it’s [the swim unit] necessary because if something happens that would require me to swim, then I would have that skill.” Only 25% of the freshman who responded considered themselves confident in their swimming abilities prior to the swim unit. However,  87% considered themselves confident in their swimming abilities after the unit.freshman-swim-unit-bogdan-grots_

Other freshman, such as Ray Birkett, also express the importance of swimming. “It’s a life essential skill, because if you don’t know how to swim, you could end up drowning.”

Likewise, Principal Bell believes that the swim unit is necessary, claiming “…it makes people water safe, whether you’re at the beach, a lake, or a river.” Bell also notes that because P.G. is a coastal city, the skill of swimming is especially paramount in order to be safe around the ocean. Furthermore, Bell elucidates the health benefits of swimming, stating “Swimming is an activity you can do for the rest of your life, but football, not so much. Swimming also incorporates the use of most muscles, making it a very beneficial exercise.”

Some underclassmen, such as Cassandra Brown, went so far as to say they actually enjoyed the swim unit. Brown explains, “I don’t really get a real workout in P.E., but in the swimming unit, I’m able to push myself while having fun at the same time. I wish we could swim all year!”

For those students who were confident in their swimming abilities prior, the unit was a review. For example,  Katie Hansen argues,  “…I already knew how to swim, and being wet every other day is very inconvenient.”

“I already knew how to swim, so this unit wasn’t really necessary,” agreed Tyler Smithtro. “I do understand that swimming is important, but I did not learn that from this unit.”

Robertson Rice, along with 78% of the respondents, believe that it could be more enjoyable. “It’s not beneficial because I’m not learning anything new aside from the infamous streamlined kick. There needs to be more free time.” Rice, however, values the importance of swimming, “when your crazy ex-girlfriend throws you off your yacht, you need to know how to swim to shore.”freshman-swim-unit-tiago-tavares-agostini-and-kai-hoadley_

Many underclassmen of P.G., being “Breakers,” actually can swim, but still benefited from the unit. Although I began the unit with feelings of trepidation and dislike, I ended the unit more confident in my swimming abilities than ever before. I not only learned more strokes and how to dive, but I was able to get more of a complete body workout than I could get from other activities in P.E.

What do you think? Is the swimming unit a necessary evil or a necessary good? Vote on the form below!

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