For the past six years interest and encouragement has been growing among community leaders, parents, students, and the Montana swimming community to start a high school swim team in Polson. Now the Polson School District, in a five-year agreement, has committed to hiring a coach, providing transportation to swim meets, and paying the Montana High School Sports Association fees if a parent/student group agreed to fund-raise $7,100 annually to help cover facility rental fees and uniforms. Parents and swimmers have contributed $3,150, and a grant from the Greater Polson Community Foundation and a gift from the Donna Rolfson Trust have helped reach the goal. Polson will join 20 other Montana towns with high school swim teams who compete in six meets plus a state meet annually. It is anticipated that more than 30 high school age swimmers will participate this first year. The Lake Monsters Swim Team composed of approximately 35 younger kids will be a great feeder program for the high school team, guaranteeing longevity of the program. Proponents add that swimming is a needed life skill and schools are the ideal and accessible venue to reach all children. Since swimming is an individual sport, it accepts and encourages varied abilities and could be a good fit for a student who hasn’t participated in a sport or who has special needs.
Locally grown potatoes donated by family-owned Lake Seed, Inc. help Polson High School add swimming, a much needed winter-time sport, to its schedule from mid-November to mid-February. Sale of 10-pound bags of potatoes for $10 will cover the cost of incidental costs of swim team travel to meets across the state as well as gear bags and sweat pants/tops for the team.