The Picayune Blue Tide welcomes all swimmers

Published 7:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Picayune Blue Tide is a combination of swimmers ranging from 4-year-olds to 18-year-olds with a host of different skill sets.

The club has been in existence for over 30 years and serves as a springboard for those who are interested in participating in swimming during their high school career.

The Picayune Blue Tide is a summer league with practices starting in May and lasting until July.

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Organization Head Laura Werner said the club has seen a massive increase in popularity with numbers consistently growing each year.

Werner said a steady social media presence has caused the total number of swimmers representing the Blue Tide to blossom with their last meet rounding out at about 115 athletes.

“They swim three to four times a week,” Werner said.

“It’s been a good feeder program for the PRC and Picayune swim teams.”

The swimmers get to keep their endurance up and improve their technique during the summer months when school competitions are not taking place.

In addition to the added practice, it allows competitors to strive for personal growth, and that intensity has led to some success for the Picayune Blue Tide in recent meets.

“The Blue Tide won a B Meet, which means more swimmers are in the A Meet because they won that,” Werner said. “We’ve had more first place winners this year than last year.”

She said the growth of the older participants is evident in the number of top places they earn.

In swimming, there are certain levels that times qualify for, meaning a swimmer has to get a certain time to participate in an A Meet, B Meet, etc.

Due to the Blue Tide’s success, they’ve been able to field more swimmers in the region’s A Meets.

The success translates out of the water as well with athletes learning a variety of life lessons during their time with the organization.

“It teaches discipline because you have to do strokes a certain way otherwise you’re (disqualified),” Werner said.

“How to put your feet and hands are so important because if you get disqualified the event doesn’t count.”

An aspect of swimming that Werner says is unique to the sport is the camaraderie opponents have with each other.

“They know how hard it can be, so these people are able to relate even though one person’s goal may not be the same as the other,” Werner said.

“They know how hard it is to make it.”

Werner said there have been multiple instances at meets where a swimmer doesn’t want to participate in an event only to have other swimmers encourage them. The positive words worked wonders and allowed the anxious swimmer to perform well.

The club hopes to continue its run of good performances at meets, and Werner said she’s really proud of how far the organization has come.

Werner said the next item on the checklist is to find a place where the club could swim all year-round, and hopes to see the club continue its upward trend.