According to Ted, my very spoiled hound dog, the “dog days” of summer are upon us. If you’re like most people, you’ve heard that expression all your life without really knowing what it means, so here’s a little lesson in word origins: by the ancient Roman calendar, Sirius–the “dog star”–rose at the same time as the sun during the hottest days of July and August. I think that’s a pretty good description of what it’s been like outside lately! (Well, that and wet.)
What all this adds up to is that it’s the perfect time of year for a visit to the City of Sumter Aquatics Center. The only public pool within an approximate 40-mile radius, the Aquatics Center has all the features needed for family fun! With a spray fountain, twister slide and kiddie wading pool, along with competition-ready lanes for serious swimmers, there’s just about everything a swimmer could want—including covered shelters with tables great for an impromptu picnic lunch (concessions are available for sale).
General admission for the pool is extremely reasonable, ranging from FREE for kids two and under to only $3.00 for adults. Season passes, family, and military discounts are also available. (Facility rentals are available on Saturday nights, but with the pool already booked through the end of August, this might be something to keep in mind for next year.)
But what if you don’t know how to swim? Well, splashing around in the shallow end is always fun and refreshing, but the City offers a variety of programs designed to help people of all ages and skill levels move through the water with ease and confidence. The next Swim Camp session, for ages 6-12, begins on July 29. Other programs include water exercise, lifeguarding, and competitive swim teams, and the Aquatics Center is one of the host sites for one of Sumter’s biggest sporting events, the annual TriSumter Triathlon.
Open Swim hours are Tuesday to Friday from noon until 5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 2-6 p.m. (the Aquatics Center is closed on Mondays). For a complete schedule, please check the calendar. Information on lap swim times and other activities is also available here, and at the pool’s main page. Or, follow us on Facebook!
If you’d prefer to sit back, relax, and watch, there’s still plenty of excitement. The Aquatics Center hosts several meets each season, with the “Swim for the Duck” Invitational Meet coming up next on July 22, 2013. This event is open to swimmers ages 4-18. Later this summer, Sumter High School and Thomas Sumter Academy will both host meets at the Center.
The City of Sumter Aquatics Center is located at 1115 South Lafayette Drive, Sumter, SC 29150. You can also reach them by calling (803) 774-3998.
One thing that is guaranteed—as well as being great exercise, the pool is the coolest place to be during the hot and humid days at the end of a Carolina summer. So, it’s time to stop dogging around, and get cool in the pool!
by Colette Daniels