Call 4 Action - Youth swimming program fights city to survive
Thu, 08 Sep 2011 03:44:57 GMT —
The Harlingen Aquatics Team teaches kids 12-years-old and under how to swim and dive.
For some, it's the only way to take part on a swim team.
"My kids go to private school at Calvary, and for them there's no other option to do the swim program, said parent John Smith.
But time for the Harlingen Aquatics Team may be limited.
A contract with the City of Harlingen ended in September after 20 years.
It required the Harlingen Aquatics Team to pay the city $1 a year to use its pool.
It's unclear if money is now the issue, but what both sides do disagree on are the hours the team can practice.
The city offered the team to use their pool from six to seven in the morning.
"The issue with those proposals is they don't work for 12 and under, said Harlingen Aquatics Team Head Coach John Tucker. Children 12 and under are trying to get to school at that time of the morning, eat breakfast."
The city said they switched the Harlingen Aquatic Team's schedule after the Harlingen School District changed its class schedule.
The school district's swim teams now practice at a later time than last year.
Their practices end when the city's water aerobics class starts.
That means the Harlingen Aquatic Team cannot practice after school practices end, like they did last year.
"So it basically kills our program, said Tucker.
When Action 4 News talked to the City of Harlingen, they said they are willing to negotiate again.
They told Action 4 News their parks director has been on vacation and has not let the swim team know they are willing to sit back down and talk.
Coach Tucker told parents he TMll take practice day by day, putting in their laps and dives until the city says to stop.
Coach tucker said part of the reason his team was given a $1 a year contract is because his swim students funnel into the Harlingen School District's swim teams.
He also said the Harlingen Aquatics team is a nonprofit.