Maggie Williamson, Peter Mackie, and Saida Mackie each completed the lessons and evaluations needed to receive acknowledgment of their swimming accomplishments. Pictured with Natasha Hamilton.
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Three Local Swimmers Graduate From YMCA Program

Maggie Williamson, Peter Mackie, and Saida Mackie each receive acknowledgment of their swimming accomplishments.

Christy Ragle
 (Contributing author)

Completing all levels of swim lessons through the YMCA is a challenge few have accomplished. This summer, however, three local swimmers graduated from all lessons at the Henry County YMCA. 

 

Maggie Williamson, Peter Mackie, and Saida Mackie each completed the lessons and evaluations needed to receive acknowledgment of their swimming accomplishments. The YMCA staff celebrated this accomplishment with a brief ceremony on Friday, July 23.

 

“During my time of teaching swimming lessons here at the Y, we haven’t had any students complete the swim program. These three have done it all the way through,” said Natasha Hamilton, Swim Lesson Coordinator at the Henry County YMCA. “I am very confident in the three graduates, and they have done a phenomenal job.”

 

Emily Williamson signed her children Maggie and Silas up for swim lessons because she was looking for a structured activity they could do that would be good for their health and would also be fun. 

 

“They don’t necessarily enjoy competitive sports, so this was a good activity for them,” Emily noted. “Now they can do something their peers can’t necessarily do and I watched their confidence grow.”

 

Silas is a few years younger, but Maggie graduated from the swim program and especially enjoyed learning how to swim laps. 

 

“I was excited to learn how to swim laps because I attend a camp at the Golay Center and if you can swim laps, you can jump off the divingboard,” Maggie exclaimed.

 

Brian and Karen Mackie’s journey to enroll their children began before Brian took on the responsibilities of Aquatics Coordinator at the Y. They enrolled their two swim graduates Peter and Saida in lessons when they were 6 and 5 years old, respectively. Younger sibling Asher joined soon after. 

 

“I wanted them to be safe and learn how to safely be in the water,” Karen expressed. 

 

Brian continued, “It was great to see them grow in their confidence and comfort levels. We watched them strive, reach goals they had set, and challenge their fears.”

 

Peter and Saida both enjoyed the activities where they swam to the bottom of the pool to pick up a various items, brought the items to the surface, and then held while treading water. 

 

“I also liked playing water polo,” Saida shared. 

 

“I can now do all the strokes in a row,” Peter said. 

 

Natasha Hamilton is eager to see what the swimmers accomplish in the future. She believes they will all make excellent lifeguards and hopes they continue actively swimming. 

 

The next session of swim lessons at the Henry County YMCA begins August 10, with another session following September 14. Those interested can sign up at the Henry County YMCA. 

 

Emily Williamson highly recommends that parents enroll their children in lessons. “It’s definitely a commitment, but we did it anyway. It was worth the extra time and they made friends along the way.” 

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