Ramona pool, place to cool

The heat of the summer has arrived and many residents, especially children, are cooling off by taking a dip in the Ramona Community Pool.

Located at Ramona High School behind the buildings on the west side of campus, the pool is open to the public from June 15 through Aug. 14 for open swim, swim lessons and a summer swim team league.  The cost is $3 per day per person and family passes are available for $120. According to former Aquatics Director Stacey Dusseault, larger families usually purchase the season passes.

“I like to see more families do that,” she said, “because it’s a really good deal.”

Dusseault coached the high school swim team before taking charge of the pool’s summer aquatics program, overseeing the program from 2004-08. Taking this summer off due to the birth of her second child, she handed the reins over to college student Kyle Roloff, who knows a lot about running the pool.  

Having worked on Dusseault’s staff for five years, Roloff now serves as the aquatics director, runs the SwimAmerica swim lesson program and is a coach for Heartland Swim Association (HSA). He, himself, is a competitive swimmer and will enter his sophomore year this fall at Southern Connecticut State University, where he is on their swim team.

“I think he does a great job,” Dusseault said of Roloff. “He brings a lot of new and fresh ideas to the program. The kids love and respect him.”

Although Roloff said the number of children involved with the programs this year is down a bit, probably due to the economy, he added,  “On average we are doing very well this year.  The kids seem to love it.”

The SwimAmerica program is taught by certified members of the American Swimming Coaches Association who focus on the proper development of stroke technique.  The coach to swimmer ratio is 1:2 for preschool and 1:4 for school age students.  Children learn at their own rate and can move independently in the program’s “stations” system.

“The teachers are great here,” noted Cindy Nagy, mother of 7-year-old Carly, who is spending her third summer at the pool.

Angela Sawlsville, whose 7-year-old daughter, Lea, is taking swim lessons, said, “As soon as summer started, we came here.”

While SwimAmerica’s first session will end July 10, a second session of lessons will be held July 13 through Aug. 6. The program offers flexibility when signing up for the four-week sessions, allowing participants to pick how many times a week they want to attend.  

The cost is $13 per 30-minute lesson for ages 3-5, and $11 per 30-minute lesson for ages 6-14. Parents can sign their children up at any time, since they charge by the lesson.  Dusseault said they can always fit people in.

According to Dusseault, the money made from the swim lessons “usually makes enough to pay for the open swim.”  The pool is maintained by the Ramona Unified School District and there are about seven lifeguards plus Roloff who are employed.  

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