May 2018 DCS Newsletter


Douglas County Stingrays

May 2018 Newsletter

President: Dan Gurley

Vice-President: Amy Alexander

Secretary/webmaster: Maria Bartlett

Treasurer: Cheryl Melilli

Safe Sport Coordinator: Julie Oliver

Events Chair: Chandra Smith

Fundraising Chair: Tish Atwell

Members of the DCS Board and Coach Jarrod held an informational meeting on Wednesday, May 9th for parents new to DCS and competitive swimming at 6pm at the Boundary Waters Aquatic Center. Thank you for an exceptional turnout! This month’s newsletter will review some of the topics presented at the exchange and will be a bit longer than normal. Thank you in advance for reading to the end! As always, if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please share them with us. We appreciate your continued support of DCS and our outstanding swimmers.

How Global Competitive Swimming is Organized

FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation…International Swimming Federation) serves as the world swimming oversight organization and is the giant umbrella that governs all of competitive swimming. USA Swimming governs member clubs in the United States. Each state (or in some cases region) has a LSC (local swim committee) that then oversees individual member clubs. As a USA Swimming club, DCS is touched by each layer of the swimming hierarchy.

Goal Setting and Time Standards

Swimming is largely an individual sport with progress measured by the achievement of “Time Standards”. Every four years, USA Swimming (USAS) publishes Age Group Motivational Times denoted by “B”, “BB”, “A” - “AAAA”. These goal times are listed by age, gender and course (short course yards or short or long course meters) and serve as a means to chart progress.  Some meets throughout the year may require prior achievement of one or more of these time standards as a prerequisite to participate. Please click here to find the current time standards for USA Swimming, GA State Championships, and National Championship meets on the DCS website.

We encourage you to follow your swimmer’s improvement as they “drop time” (a really good thing) with each race. An easy way to chart your athlete’s progress is by downloading two mobile apps: DECK PASS (USA Swimming --free) and MEET MOBILE (USA Swimming – a fee). These applications will help you keep track of your athlete’s race times in each event as well as provide some perspective, goal setting and encouragement.  The website is an excellent resource, too.

USA Swimming and Safe Sport

USA Swimming is committed to providing not only a competitive, learning and fun environment for all swimmers but a safe one, too. All swimmers, parents and coaches must be aware that certain behaviors in or at the pool, on the deck, in the locker rooms and in social media are not tolerated by DCS or USA Swimming. Our Safe Sport Coordinator, Julie Oliver, is the team representative and resource for questions about issues such as bullying, inappropriate touching, or inappropriate conversations. You can refer to USA Swimming Safe Sport initiatives and Code of Conduct by clicking here.

USA Swimming also wants athletes to have a voice in the decisions made within their sport. Each USAS team is required to select a swimmer from their roster to advocate for their team and work with other young athletes about broader issues in swimming. We are delighted that Jordan Washington (Senior Team) is currently serving as our DCS Athlete Representative!

Treasurer’ s Report

Thank you for being prompt with your monthly tuition payments and meet entry fees! For your convenience, you may view your account invoice and pay for tuition and swim meets online with a credit card. However, we gladly accept personal checks and cash at the pool (in the blue pouch on the bench). You can avoid a service charge by selecting auto-pay within your account and adding a credit card for auto-billing at the first of each month.

If you pay by check or cash, please place in an envelope with name and “for” and allow a couple of days for your account to be updated.

Our Treasurer, Cheryl Melilli, reminds us that our monthly tuition rates are remarkably lower than those of surrounding Metro Atlanta swim teams. As a 501c(3) non-profit, we aim to keep our costs as low as we can while providing a competitive salary to our Coaching Staff and paying our monthly obligation to the aquatic center for lane/pool use fees.

Billing questions? Ask Cheryl by sending an email at

Website and Team Communication

Our website is the communication hub of our team. Please check it out frequently for updates, news, and calendar events. It is also the only way we sign up to participate in swim meets!

**ACTION REQUIRED** We encourage all parents to please create a verified cell number for your account so that we can contact you via text in the event of a pool closure or last minute unforeseen practice cancellation/change. Summer thunderstorms are a daily menace! Just go to your account, add your SMS, hit “save”, click on “verify SMS” then follow the prompts. We use this function with great discretion. No spam texts. Thank you!

Can’t find some team or swimming info on the website that is important to you? Please send us an email or speak to Maria when she is at the pool so it can be added. Remember the key tabs on the home page of our website: “PRACTICE GROUPS”, “PARENTS,” “CALENDAR,” and “EVENTS”. Under eachtab, you’ll find lots of specific info including training schedules, team gear, new parent info, and meets and holidays.

And always, if you encounter a problem with your personal account, please let Maria know at so she can troubleshoot.

Summer Practice Schedule Begins June 4th

The 2018 summer training schedule is posted both on our website and at the pool in our giant blue metal equipment locker. Click here to view.

Just keep swimming! Consistency is key to continued progress in the water! Summer is short and time with family and rest is tantamount. With this in mind, DCS will enjoy a swim break from July 28 – August 12. The more consistently your athlete trains this summer, the faster and better prepared he/she will be for the Fall. Please come to practice early and often. We are a year-round team!


**ACTION REQUIRED** All swimmers MUST bring a water bottle (or bottle to be refilled) to training every day. Bottom line: No bottle. No practice! This policy is for our athletes’ safety.

Ready to Compete? Here’s How to Sign Up

Summer swimming brings both Long Course and Short Course opportunities for our athletes. Long Course (50 meter pool) is the international standard for elite competition. Short course (25 yard pool) is the more common length here in the USA and enjoys a longer season of competition.

Please remember our process for participating in swim meets:

   1.    All swimmers are asked to “attend” or ”decline” participation in the meet found under the EVENTS tab on the website; if you do not respond by the deadline, your name will not be added to the active roster for that swim meet. If you select “attend”, please use to notes function to let us know if you can only swim on certain days.

    2.    You may then select the events in which your swimmer will compete. (Please note that the event database may not be available for event selection until closer to the meet itself). If you are uncomfortable making event selections, the Coaching Staff will choose the events in which your child will compete. Approximately three weeks prior to the meet, the roster and events assigned to your child will be sent via email to each parent for review. Any changes/corrections/additions must be made in writing via email by the stated deadline.

    3.    If there are no changes, the swimmer will accept the events and DCS will pre-pay for the swimmer to compete at that swim meet in advance of the event date.

    4.    The amount owed to DCS will be posted to your invoice and will be the responsibility of the account holder even if the swimmer does not compete. Meet fees may be paid at the first of each month along with monthly tuition.

As a general rule, the fee to compete at a swim meet is $6.50 per event. (So you can plan, count on four (4) events in a day x 6.5 = $26).

At the meet – things to remember

Besides your suit, goggles and a towel, each swimmer must remember to speak to their Coach before and after each race. For a list of items to bring to a swim meet, as well as notes on how to “mark up” your swimmer, click here.

FUN Meet For ALL – Annual DCS BLUE v GREY Intra-squad Meet—June 7th

ALL SWIMMERS please attend a special practice on Thursday, June 7th , as we will go head to head against our teammates in a fun evening of friendly competition —  The Annual Blue v Grey meet !! More info to follow.

Non-Chlorine Events and Swimmers of the Month

DCS Coaches will continue their monthly recognition program, the Stingray of the Month. The Coaching Staff will give a “shout out” to a swimmer that has demonstrated exceptional swimming at a meet or practice during the prior month. That swimmer will then be recognized on our website and our bulletin board at the BWAC.

DCS also emphasizes “non-chlorine” team events for our Stingrays throughout the season. Chandra Smith, DCS Events Chair, organizes and plans swimmer birthday cupcake celebrations, the annual awards banquet, pot lucks, pep rallies and more. We believe that it’s important for our kids to enjoy some social time with their teammates. If you are interested helping with this important committee, let us know. We always welcome ideas for future events!

Practice Suits and Meet Suits: Use these links and support DCS

The Coaching Staff requires all swimmers to wear a competition style suit for practice. There are several online shops that carry the major brands – Speedo, Arena, TYR, Nike, Dolphin, etc. ; please take a look on our website under the Parents tab, then select “required gear” to find a list of links or click here.

DCS participates in the affiliate program with The team receives an 8% cash benefit from every purchase made with SwimOutlet by clicking . . So, check out some great deals and help out our club.

For swim meets, Stingrays are encouraged to wear a royal blue competition suit of their brand of choice. Find a suit that is snug but comfortable and makes your swimmer feel fast!  Always wear your DCS team cap at a meet.

Need more stuff? Go to and pick DCS as your charity. A portion of each sale will go to DCS.

DCS Needs USA Swimming Certified Stroke and Turn Officials

DCS wants you! For upcoming home events as well as other swim meets, our team is in need of Stroke and Turn judges. Perks include pool deck access (credentials) to sanctioned swim meets, abundant free snacks and a fashionable, USA Swimming polo shirt. Online coursework as well as additional poolside training is required. DCS will reimburse your expenses!! Interested? Please email Maria or Cheryl at with questions or for more info.

DCS Swim-a-Thon 2018 — one for the Record Books

We are humbled by the record breaking $11,904.05 collected by our annual Swim-a-thon this year. THANK YOU! Not only did our swimmers achieve almost $2000 over our goal, but also they collectively swam the distance from the BWAC to just south of Nashville, TN.  Plans are already in the works for the second leg of our journey to Omaha!

If you haven’t noticed, some of the proceeds have already been converted to new kickboards and dryland equipment. More training gear to come!

DCS Spirit Night at PANERA Bread – Dine and Earn on June 6th

Tish Atwell, our Fundraising Chair, has organized another easy fundraising opportunity for our club – Spirit Night at Panera in Douglasville. From 4pm to 8pm, either DOWNLOAD or print the flyer attached at the bottom of this newsletter. Then, PRESENT it to the cashier when you place your order. SHARE the flyer WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE! (Just not the folks in line….). We will earn 20% of pre-tax proceeds!

**Heads up** There will be NO afternoon practice on Wednesday, so we can dine together**

Remember, all DCS fundraising proceeds go directly back into our program, supports our bottom line and positively affects EVERY athlete!

“Coach Kim”Dickerson Joins DCS each week

Stroke clinician Kim Dickerson joins DCS every week for one-on one technique training at the BWAC. Kim works in the water individually with your swimmer, analyzing strokes, starts and turns and helps fine-tune their swimming. For an additional fee of $40, Coach Kim will conduct a thirty-minute private clinic. Please contact Kim at 770-328- 5064 to schedule an individualized session.

Mark Your Calendar

May 28th – pool is closed, no practice

June 4th – Summer Practice schedule begins

June 6th—Spirit Night at Panera Bread -- no PM practice

June 7th – Annual BLUE v Grey intrasquad meet

June 9th – Carrollton invite

June 22-24th – TL Jackson Invite

July 4th – pool is closed, no practice

Thank you for reading

DCS is an independent, volunteer - parent - directed, year-round USA swimming team. As a non-profit 501©3 organization, we enjoy great coaching, terrific swimmers and supportive families.  Our mission is to create a nationally recognized aquatic program that teaches and trains all levels of competitive swimmers and emphasizes personal excellence, team unity and family participation. Parents are always welcome to attend our Board of Directors’ monthly meetings. Check for dates on the website under CALENDAR. Thank you for being a part of DCS.