The OMNI Swim Club
(Oakdale, Maplewood, North St. Paul Swim Club, Inc.)
Swimming is an individual sport within a team setting and thus affords young athletes the opportunity to succeed through their own hard work while at the same time having the support and encouragement of friends who share the same experiences.
Swimming is a lifelong exercise opportunity. Long recognized as among the best of exercise activities for cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone, swimming is enjoyed by young and old alike. Competitive swimming takes these physical benefits one step further, encouraging the young athlete to develop a “can do” attitude and a level of self-confidence that few sports can match.
Watch a group of kids at the beach during the summer, and you can pick out the swimmers. Watch the swimmers and you can pick out the competitive swimmers just by observing their comfort level in the water. In this land of 10,000 lakes, it is an added level of security knowing that your child is confident around water.
Swimming becomes a way of life. It is a demanding sport, but one which teaches young athletes to budget their time and focus their energies. One of the most frequent comments of our high school swimmers, once their seasons have ended and they are not in the water every day, is that they miss the workouts and feel as though their whole daily routines have been upset.
Swimmers can begin competing for high school teams in seventh grade. Every season there are 8th and even 7th graders who progress all the way to the State High School Meet.
Swimming is a safe sport. All our coaches are certified lifeguards and have also been certified by USA Swimming through a coaches’ safety training course. Injuries due to swimming are rare - the most common ailments, shoulder and occasionally knee soreness, are often corrected by a modification of stroke technique and normal stretching exercises. In addition, many young people suffering from common medical problems - asthma being the most notable - actually find that the humidity in a pool area and the low-impact nature of the activity make their participation not only possible, but in fact desirable.
History of the OMNI Swim Club
During the past several years, the Tartan and North St. Paul high schools have had approximately 120 boys and girls who each year have participated in the high school swimming and diving programs. While the numbers reflected an interest within our district in competitive swimming, there had been a lack of opportunities for off-season growth for these swimmers as well as for younger swimmers who might wish to try competitive swimming. In the fall of 1996, parents of both Tartan and North St. Paul swimmers sat down and looked for ways to remedy this situation. It was decided that the best option was to form our own USS (United States Swimming, now known as USA Swimming) club that would provide quality competition for, and development of, our swimmers. OMNI received its charter to become a USS team in December of 1996 and began operations in April of 1997, utilizing the pools at both Maplewood Middle School and Skyview Community School.
As a chartered USA Swimming team, OMNI is a non-profit 501c.3 organization governed by a Board of Directors. The Board consists of up to 15 members who are elected by the members of the organization - the swimmers and parents who belong to the club. The Board hires the coaches, establishes the dues, and provides general guidance for the club.