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Jump into fitness and fun at the high school Natatorium

Swimmers participate in a pool fitness class at Clarkston High School. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
April 20, 2011 - Summer days are quickly approaching and for those waiting to hit the pool, the wait is over.

Clarkston Community Education Center offers the opportunity to swim now either for fitness and health, learning how to swim or just for fun.

"The pool is here for the community and we want them to use it," said Vicki O'Bezil, pool supervisor. "We want them to feel like it is their pool, bring their families and have a good time."

The community and even non-residents can use the Clarkston High School Natatorium for the five different fitness classes offered throughout the week in the morning and on Saturday. Classes are offered throughout the year and the new session begins the end of April and in May.

"It's not necessary you know how to swim," said O'Bezil. "One of our water fit classes is a deep water class and we have bouyancy belts to keep your head above water. It makes you feel secure."

She added the fitness classes are also easier on the joints making it easier and more enjoyable to workout.

"When you are in the water you are only one-tenth of your body weight. Our Deep Water Fitness class is wonderful because it is joint friendly."

They also offer Aqua Fitness Dance Party, Shallow Water Fitness Shape - UP!, Aquatic- Flexibility Plus and H2O Boot Camp.

"The class we offer Saturday mornings is our boot camp class," said O'Bezil. "It is a high energy, vigorous class and it is our most challenging."

"It's good interaction and friendships are built," said Bev Kertesz, from the Deep Water Fitness class. "Because of it people come back. Since moving here I have met a lot more people. This has been my social network."

They also offer private lessons and preschool lessons during the day.

"We just finished private lessons with the most wonderful young lady," O'Bezil smiled. "She is 82-years-old. She called and wanted private lessons because she never learned how to swim and wanted to learn. Water is therapeutic. It is great she had the courage to come and learn."

For children they run an American Red Cross Ready to Swim program and the instructors are trained water instructors and aids.

"It is tested and proven to be successful. It teaches children to become safe in pools and around pools and any type of water. We live in an area with so many lakes," said O'Bezil. "Kids feel secure when they can see and touch the bottom. Learning to swim in a pool is a safe and secure way to take lessons especially to get them ready to swim in our lakes."

During the summer they will also offer the Summer Aqua Variety Camp for children entering Kindergarten up to fifth grade. Or if the child is looking to be a part of USA Swimming they can join the Clarkston SeaWolves.

For those just looking to swim a few laps or take the family to the pool, they have open swim seven days a week.

The cost is $4 for adults, $2 for students and $3 for adults 50-years-old and older or passes can be bought.

The newest pass is for the family which can be used for the entire family until August 31, 2011. Fifty dollars can be used for 20 visits or unlimited visits for $125. They offer a special deal on both passes if purchased before May 1.

"We were looking for a way to give families a break," said O'Bezil. "It gives them the opportunity to do something as a family for not a lot of money."

Visit the Clarkston High School Natatorium on April 26 for the first day of classes and an open house, from 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

"Come in and get a free pass to try a class and meet the instructors," O'Bezil invited.

For more information about classes and open swim times, please visit www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/cec or call 248-623-3588.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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