The Annenberg Pool in the Shimada Athletic Center provides a premier location for aquatic activities. Students in our Middle and Upper School may join the FCS swim team and/or the Friends’ Central Aquatics club (FCA). Both are rigorous programs providing students with intense instruction, practice and competition. To be a member of either of these programs, one must possess dedication, focus and skill. Elisabeth Forsyth ’20, has proven to possess these qualities to the extreme, as she participates in both.
Elisabeth revealed that one of the reasons she came to FCS, was to have the opportunity to swim for our swim team. “I’ve been swimming for a long time and the opportunity to switch schools was just too good to pass up. I already knew if I switched, I would swim for FCS”. Elisabeth has been swimming for for our Friends’ Central Aquatics program since first grade. Her inspiration for joining the team was because of coach Kerry Sherin-Porter. “She was the one who taught me to swim in the first place” said an appreciative Elisabeth.
Elisabeth is always on the go with swim practices and meets. Some of her meets are “just a few minutes away,” while others “can take a couple of hours to get to.” Though she loves swimming, Elisabeth relayed that in order to be a member of both teams, one must be very committed to the workout schedule. Explaining, “I have a quota of eight practices a week since I’m a silver on FCA. During the FCS winter swim season, I must attend the team’s five practices, plus an additional three FCA practices.” She later goes into more detail about the commitment, sharing “It’s already hard to juggle school and a social life, so adding swimming to the mix, ramps it up even more”.
While realizing that swimming is a difficult sport to continually push through with, Elisabeth mentioned that “My favorite part of being on the team, is how it’s a family and I love that. You can really connect to people you may have not even known if you didn’t swim. I have people on the team I view as brothers and sisters. It’s nice to know I have a place I truly belong.’’
Tracy Alt Ford, who coaches both FCS Varsity swimming and Friends’ Central Aquatics provides insight from another perspective. Tracy commends her students saying, “Those who choose to participate in both teams sacrifice a lot of personal time, since the practice schedule is so rigorous. In fact, many of these swimmers spend up to fifteen hours weekly in the water! On top of the swimming, these students have academic and artistic priorities to stay on top of. We recognize at times, this can be stressful, but it’s very rewarding to see them learning so much, and having such a great time while simultaneously participating in an excellent sport.”
Elisabeth Forsyth’s dedication, focus and skill are strong and while she is the beneficiary of her hard work, Friends’ Central School, Friends’ Central Swim Team and Friends’ Central Aquatics are also benefiting from it.