Writer / Matt Roberts
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
On a Tuesday night at Center Grove High School, swimmers are splashing around in the pool, warming up for their regular workout. They joke around briefly on the deck, greet newcomers, and then, one by one, drop into separate lanes and start moving through the water.
In this instance, however, none of the swimmers actually attend the school (though some of their kids do). The workout is one of the thrice-weekly meetings of the Center Grove Masters Swim Club, a program of the Center Grove Aquatic Club.
Chris Cuadros is club treasurer and one of the three founders of the Masters swim program along with Isaiah and Miranda Tworek. All three had competed in swimming in high school, and Isaiah and Cuadros even coached in college. But when they began looking for places to swim as adults, they found a dearth of options south of Indianapolis.
“We didn’t really have access to a pool down here,” Cuadros says. “There’s one at LA Fitness, but it’s a short pool and there’s no real program there. Then you have the YMCA, but that’s more for older people and kids and the water is like 90 degrees, so it’s not really a competitive swim program.”
Cuadros and the Tworek polled Center Grove swim parents to see how much interest there would be in an adult swim program, and immediately got a dozen positive responses. They initiated the club on January 1, and attendance has already doubled.
The U.S. Masters Swim program promotes swimming at all levels and sponsors state, regional and national contests for those over 18 years old. But each local chapter can decide how much emphasis to put on competitive swimming. Only months into its existence, the Center Grove club is still developing, and members are deciding whether to compete at advanced levels.
“We just started in January,” Miranda says. “We’re still trying to figure out who wants to do the competitive side. So far, it’s really more of a fitness and recreation accountability group.”
“Swimming is a great cardio low-impact workout,” Cuadros says. “There are a few people here who will probably compete at state or national levels, but most of us just want to get a workout in.”
As swimmers glide through the water at different speeds, Cuadros describes how the practices are organized.
“We want to cater to a wide range of skill sets,” Cuadros says. “So, two lanes are open swim. One guy wants to swim a mile every day, and then get in a couple of sprints. He doesn’t want to work on stroke technique, he just wants to have the group hold him accountable and get in here every day.
“Three lanes are for our group-one swimmers, and their target is two to 3,000 yards (each practice),” Cuadros adds. “Then the next lanes are for group two. They’re advanced swimmers who could compete if they want to. One of our guys has competed at the national level, so this group is getting two to 3,000 yards in an hour.”
The program hopes to grow in numbers, especially if Center Grove builds a new aquatics center. Cuadros says the club made a pitch to the school board, but a new 50-meter pool is a big-ticket item for any organization.
“We just love swimming,” Cuadros says. “There are a ton of benefits, and almost anybody can be a good swimmer. We want to see this grow so we can serve more people on the south side.”
At $40 per month with a $10 initiation fee, the program provides an affordable exercise option for adults. Couples get a $15 discount on the second membership. Interested swimmers can contact Cuadros at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.