Dive into swimming at SunUte

Solar Flares' coach, Rob Gram talks to his swimmers about technique and style
Solar Flare swimmers warm up at practice on Thursday, Jan. 14 at the SunUte Community Center pool
Warming up is key, as Solar Flare swimmers swim their warm up laps
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum


Have you ever dreamt of being a swim star?

In an effort to keep the swim team afloat the SunUte Community Center is calling all kids to come and join the SunUte youth team, the Solar Flares. Even though the Solar Flares just became a swim team in the eyes of USA Swimming, they have been swimming together for four years.

Originally the swim team was created for the Native American Indigenous and Tri-Ute Games.

“At one time we had 25-30 kids on our swim team, ”Robin Duffy-Wirth, fitness director of SunUte Community Center said.

If you are planning to swim in this year’s Tri-Ute games SunUte encourages you to start preparation now by joining the Solar Flares. The swim team to open to all youth ages 8 to 18.

SunUte has tried different things to try to lure kids in to be apart of this elite group of swimmers, they’ve changed times, changed schedules even made swimming quarters so the kids didn’t feel obligated to swim year around. Now this is their final push to keep swimming alive at the community center.

The Solar Flares are coached by Rob Gram. Gram is a USA Certified Swim Coach with much experience. He was also an avid swimmer back in his younger days competing in at high school and collegiate level. Gram assisted with a couple of different swim teams in California and even though he had been away from the sport for awhile he is very upbeat and positive about the youth in our community and their capabilities to grow in the sport of swimming, he said.

“I would like to make the opportunity for these kids to compete. There are lots of opportunities all over the state and country,” Gram said.

The Solar Flares new quarter started Thursday, Jan. 14. Practice is every Tuesday and Thursday 4:30 p.m.- 6 p.m., with the exception of holidays.

All swimmers are required to have a SunUte membership; tribal members are free of charge. Swimmers interested in competing in sanctioned swim meets are required to pay the $63 USA Swimming registration fee. If your child qualifies for free lunches at school the USA Swim fee is available at $5.

“If any tribal member students need help with fees SunUte is always here to help them and make sure they are successful, especially if it’s fitness related,” Duffy-Wirth said.

It’s not too late to become a Solar Flare. The swim team is open to all youth ages 8 to 18. Swimmers are not required to compete in swim meets, unless they choose to do so. For any questions contact Lisa Allen, Aquatics Coordinator at 563-0214 ext. 2653.


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