When you’re a kid who loves swimming practically more than life itself, the winter months when the pool is closed can drag on for what seems like an eternity. Luckily, Lantana Lightning Swim team officials have the perfect answer.
The swim team, which is headed into its 17th year offering competitive swimming for kids ages 5-18, has teamed up once again with the neighborhood HOA to host its second-annual Super Polar Plunge. Slated for Feb. 1, the Polar Plunge will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at the South Pool and is a unique, communitywide event where kids, their parents, and even coaches sign up to swim — but mostly plunge — into the water in 40 to 50-degree weather.
You read that right — and don’t knock it until you try it.
“The longer the pool is closed, the more these kids miss it and start bugging their parents,” Lantana Lightning board President, Melody Gscheidle said. “It’s a fun event, and the parents are such troopers to do this along with the kids.”
Last year’s event brought in roughly 50 plungers of all ages, and several dozen more residents showed up simply to show support and help raise money for the organization. Big blocks of ice and various decorations surrounded the pool; the HOA also hosted a s’mores station while the golf club provided hot cocoa. Lantana Lightning coaches were on hand, as were several lifeguards to help warm swimmers up once they exited the pool.
Gscheidle said that participants who sign up for this year’s event could expect much of the same. Prizes will also be awarded for the bellyflop and cannonball contests. Someone will also be dressed up in a polar bear outfit.
“We definitely anticipate more participants than last year,” Gscheidle said. “The coaches also participate, which I think is really cool for the kids to see.”
Once the Polar Plunge is complete, Gscheidle admitted the team would quickly turn its focus to the upcoming season. Registration for 2020 begins April 1 for returning swimmers. Meets typically run between June and July. To join, there are a few rules, including being able to swim 25 yards and that the swimmer is a resident of Lantana. Lantana Lightning is part of a group called Swim North Texas.
This group, while it is a chance for kids to learn structure and the importance of being a part of a team, is also a chance for kids to learn a few new tricks while also making new friends.
If you are interested in having your child be a part of the Lantana Lightning, visit their website at www.teamunify.com.