Do you know how to swim? Well they’re a lot of people who do and a whole lot of people who don’t. If you’re in the category of people who don’t know how to swim, there may be a program for you.
The Masters Swim Program was created to help people learn how to swim, train swimmers and help defunct swimmers get back on the wagon. Marcellus Beaird is the coach of the program and became involved with the sport as a child.
“It stems back from when I was a kid and no one ever actually taught me how to swim appropriately,” said Beaird.
Beaird almost drowned at the age of 12 at a local pool. It was in that moment he realized he wanted to learn how to swim better.
“The following year, I took swim lessons [and] became a part of the Parks and Rec. swim team—went onto be a junior lifeguard,” said Beaird.
He would continue with swimming through high school and onto college. He eventually became a coach, helping swimmers to improve in the art of swimming. He currently coaches under U.S.A Swimming and was also under the city of Los Angels Swim team (COLA).
“I was recently hired back with the city of Los Angeles to coach Masters program,” said Beaird.
The program is geared towards everyone—from the beginner to the advanced swimmer. For those of you who are disturbed by the word “Masters,” Beaird assures that the classes are for every level.
“A lot of people have a misunderstanding of what the word Masters means,” said Beaird. “Masters actually only means it’s individuals who are over [the age of] 18 and want to stay in some kind of physical shape.
“For those who don’t know how to swim very well, I help them to realize—they’re not rocks but they can swim and it’s good for those who want to get fit.”
“That’s what the Masters Swim Program is about—people who have been swimmers and fallen off for whatever reason or were just good enough but never really got an opportunity to go further and harder,” said student, Francesca Montgomery
Montgomery started the program in October 2012 but has been swimming with Beaird before the program began.
When asked what she liked about the program, she responded, “everything—the fact that he believes in us, he pushes us to be better, he gives us extra time… to jog, do resistance training.
“From the time we’re in the pool, to the time we’re out, he’s constantly pushing us and it’s a lot of fun being around people my age who are trying to get into shape and go the extra distance.”
For more information about the Masters Program, please visit the website at www.laparks.org/expo/aquaticcenter.htm and download the Expo Center Program Brochure. You can also call at (213) 763-0129.