WALLINGFORD — Five members of the Wallingford Family YMCA’s Dolphins Swim Team are headed to national competitions this month, joining a legacy of young champion swimmers.
It’s unclear when the Dolphins youth team began, but Wallingford Y records go back several decades, said Eric Hutchinson, YMCA communications director, on Wednesday.
“The Dolphins started as a small group of passionate swimmers,” he said.
By 1981, the team had 70 members, according to Record-Journal archives.
“Since then, we have grown to over 130 members,” Hutchinson said.
The eastside Y, 81 Elm St., was constructed in the 1950s. The pool was built in 1963.
The Wallingford Dolphins are part of the YMCA Yankee Cluster Swim League, encompassing a majority of central Connecticut.
Away, regional and national meets allowed kids the opportunity to compete against hundreds of other swimmers in some of the largest facilities in the area.
In 1981, 12 Dolphin team members competed in the New England Regional Swimming Championships at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
“The Y’s concept is different,” then coach John Scharer said. “It’s fun and competitive together. I push the kids but I don't kill them, so they enjoy it later in life.”
The Dolphins are funded by the Wallingford Family YMCA.
“We have a strong parent association that fundraises on the local level to support social events such as our banquet and gear for the team,” Hutchinson said.