Swim team needs funds for heat

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 27, 2015

The Southern Mississippi Aquatic Club is raising money in an effort to pay for their pool’s heating bill for the upcoming year.

The swim club consists of 40 active swimmers from

area schools in Hancock, Picayune, Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Diamondhead, Pass Christian and Long Beach.

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“We’re the only team in the state of Mississippi who swims outdoors year-round,” Coach Ray Lossett said. “They miss a lot of practice time because of the weather.”

The team holds their practice at the outdoor pool located at the Marsha Barbour Community Center, which is centrally located for the swimmers, Lossett said.

Currently, the club is raising $15,000 to pay for the pool’s heating bill.

One of the swimmer’s parents, Ginny Cabell, said they raise money every year for the children’s swim meets, swimsuits and equipment, however, raising money for the heating bill is always a hefty feat.

“Every year, we have to raise money for the gas bill to keep the pool heated during the cold months,” Cabell said.

Recently, she started a GoFundMe online account to raise money for the club.

“We’ve exasperated every other opportunity to raise money, so we decided to try GoFundMe,” Cabell said. “Our goal is to give these kids an opportunity to swim, but we don’t have anybody supporting us.”

Coach Lossett said despite the monetary issue, the club has been successful.

The club competes locally, regionally and statewide every year. Last month, sixteen swimmers qualified for the state meet in Tupelo, Lossett said.

“Five of our 10 and up state qualifiers took first, second and third place in Tupelo and competed in sectionals in Atlanta afterwards,” Lossett said.

Recently, four swimmers qualified for the National Southeast Zones Meet in Tupelo, which will be held in July.

“Over the years, if you go back, we probably produced somewhere in the neighborhood of 95 to 100 state championships since we started in 2006,” Lossett said. “We’ve also had five swimmers receive college scholarships for swimming.”

Cabell said they would appreciate any donation to the club’s GoFundMe account at Heat to Compete at http://www.gofundme.com/pauvsg.