Just Keep Swimming

After a day of fun in the Hixon Pool, Aydyn, a Special Olympics athlete, received his medal for participating in this year’s Swimathon. For Aydyn, the event was a chance to share his love for swimming with some new friends while supporting his team in continuing its passion for another year.

On Sunday, November 4, over 200 swimmers joined Aydyn in the pool to participate in the 24th annual Swimathon. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 138 Hotchkiss students joined community members from all over New England to swim thousands of yards and raise over $7,000 for the Northwest CT Special Olympics Swimming Team.

Every year, the Swimathon provides an opportunity for Hotchkiss swimmers to bond with each other and with swimmers from outside the school. Students from schools as far away as New York City contributed to the cause this year. Chris Lukens ’19, head of the Special Olympics Club, said, “I find it fun to get to know someone new. Aydyn had a great time in the pool. Handstands, swimming, jumping off the diving board – he definitely got the biggest splash.”

Throughout the day, swimmers could come to the pool at any time and swim for as long as they wanted. Mr. Keith Moon, instructor in English, history, and Russian language, who initiated the event in 1994 and previously served on the board of Special Olympics Connecticut, said, “What I like about this day is that it’s pretty simple. Everybody just comes and swims. There’s no big ceremony or big moment or anything like that. It’s just people doing the right thing all day long.”

Funds raised by this event were gathered and delivered to the Northwest Connecticut Special Olympics Swimming Team and Special Olympics Connecticut. The money gathered supports the teams’ travel expenses, pool time, and other needs for an entire year. Mr. Moon said, “Swimming brings a lot of joy into their lives, and it’s really important to keep it going. We have the ability to help them make that happen year after year.”

What I like about this day is that it’s pretty simple. It’s just people doing the right thing all day long.

— Mr. Keith Moon

For Mr. Moon, the most important takeaway of the Swimathon is making a difference in the surrounding community. He said, “We have people at our school from all over the world, but we live here in the Northwest corner of Connecticut. We want it to be the greatest place it can be.”