How (and when) it all Began!
The Barrington Blue Fins swim team started in April of 1995. Back when the team was first started, Barrington had built a pool and a few residents met to create a team. Around the kitchen table of Noelle and Bob Wolter, a group of eight people, including Bruce Jones, Barrie Askey, Rod Collins, Keith Rea, Ken Reinshuttle, and Ruth Daly developed the organization needed for creating a swim team. Within days, the spouses of these people were also enlisted, and the Blue Fins were on their way.
Deb Hutchinson was able to get the equipment needed. Ken Reinshuttle secured financial help from the homeowners and found the team a head coach. Keith Rea got his wife, Donna, to be in charge of fundraising. Rod Collins agreed to secure and train all the officials needed. Greg Askey agreed to take care of all our finances, and Noelle Wolter agreed to be the Team Rep for the Blue Fins.
Barrington joined the Colonial Swim League, which is a local league of 24 teams. Crosspointe had been in this league and was most helpful in giving us information to get us started. Bruce Jones had lots of information from the Saratoga Swim Team that their son Brian had been on. The next step was to get information out to the community. This was done by the Wolter girls who roller bladed up and down the streets of Barrington putting flyers into mailboxes (several times!!). Information was put in the Barrington newsletter. There was a contest to come up with a name for the swim team and treats given to those who turned ballots into the Wolters. Flyers were given out to the kids as they got off the buses in the afternoons. Word was spread at MOB meetings. This along with word of mouth excitement got us going!!
In May, 1995 there was a registration and parent meeting at Silverbrook. The team registered 39 swimmers (only about 6 of whom had any swimming experience at all!!). By June we had all the equipment we needed, swim suits, T-shirts, caps, coaches (Sam and Natasha Conway, Carrie Wolter and Austin Reinshuttle), trained officials, a handbook, a calendar, and we were ready to start the season!
By the time of the first meet, we were up to 66 swimmers on the roster. It was very exciting to have such interest and we held that interest by an inordinate number of social activities. There were pasta parties, sleepovers, movies, bike rides, water parks, Kings Dominion, swim-a-thons, Cannons games, and talent shows on top of the meets which at the beginning were secondary to the fun!
Our first two seasons were pretty dismal as far as winning, but it did not seem to matter because the kids were busy, healthy, and bonding as a unit. The Blue Fins became the glue that bonded families together in this new Subdivision. Friends were made; families connected. Interest and support was phenomenal.
The next few seasons the Blue Fins began winning more and more meets. Many kids were swimming year round and winning all kinds of points for us in the summer. In 1999, the Blue Fins were undefeated in the Gold Division. This was an incredible accomplishment for us in such a short time, and we were able to move up to the next division. We had 12 swimmers make it to the Colonial League All-stars in 1999. The Blue Fins were PROUD!
Sam and Natasha Conway were with us as head coaches for three years, and then Carrie Wolter became the head coach and Austin Reinshuttle the Head Assistant Coach. As the team grew (we had 100 swimmers in 1999 and 120 in 2000), we added on more assistant coaches from our own ranks. In 1999, Andrew Daly, Ashley Wolter, and Brian Jones worked with our new developmental group which was established to meet the needs of the huge number of developmental swimmers. The team won two and lost two meets which was pretty good considering we were in a higher division.
The team was built on the values of self-discipline, sportsmanship, friendship, respect, team spirit and family involvement. Swimmers have learned that hard work pays off. They work hard to improve their own times and abilities. Young kids and older kids support each other and have fun together. The older kids become the role models for the younger new swimmers. The summer team connects the kids at school. It has provided opportunities for friendships among adults and has created community pride. An idea that came about around a kitchen table became a reality that has made a major impact on life in Barrington.