Chris Giarrizzo has set lofty goals to build a community aquatic program.
First off, she’d like to see the current one enhanced to include year-round offerings that benefit all ages.
Her dream program would also include lessons, a youth team, high school swim team, master’s swim, water aerobics and public swims.
While her aspirations are laudable, she also knows that such an extensive program “will be difficult to accomplish without local interest and support.”
Giarrizzo has a vested interest in building a top-rate program partly because her daughter, Emily, 10, is an aspiring young swimmer who last spring qualified for the Arizona Short Course Championships and has turned in some excellent times in 50-yard breast stroke and 50-yard freestyle.
The young girl, however, and her 13-year-old swimming partner Julie Gibson must practice in less than ideal conditions in a small pool and travel to the Valley for meets because Payson does not have year-round aquatic facilities or a swim team.
Giarrizzo backs her desires to upgrade Payson’s aquatics by volunteering to help at Taylor Pool and by hosting the annual Town of Payson Community Swim Meet.
She also appears to have picked up an ally in her push for an extended program now that the Gilbert-based EVO Swim School and its owner David Tait have taken over operation of Taylor.
Both Giarrizzo and Tait are beating the drums encouraging swimmers of all ages to get involved in upcoming programs and to support the Payson Pikes swim team.
Among the ways residents can show support of the team is by entering the Community Swim Meet, which will be held June 5 at Taylor.
All proceeds from the $5 entry fee will be used to benefit the Pikes.
For the meet, warm-ups begin at 8 a.m. and the competition is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration is 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on the day of the meet
Events for all four Olympic strokes will be offered in 12 age groups ranging from 6 and under to over 70 years.
Swimmers of all abilities are invited to participate.
Also on the summer agenda, EVO is offering an adult lap swim that is scheduled for 5:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday throughout the summer. However, to continue with the program, EVO must have at least 10 participants. The fee is $55 for the entire summer.
Those interested in participating in the lap swim should register by calling 1-877-539-009 or at www.evoswimschool.com.