Lakeside's swim team, The Sharks, dates back to 1970, and have been a part of the Bayou Swim League since 1976. At that time, the league consisted of neighborhood teams from Lakeside, Walnut Bend, Briargrove, Briargrove Park and Westchester. In 1994 due to a declining number of children/swimmers from Lakeside and Walnut Bend neighborhoods, the two teams decided to join forces and became one team now known as The Sharks.
Cathy Hollowell, who had been president of the league, a team rep, and a referee while her daughter and then grandson swam for the team, was instrumental in the formation of The Sharks. Cathy said that she and Onie Swanson (Plummer) worked it all out one day in the Walnut Bend restroom,
"Walnut Bend had around 60 swimmers and Lakeside had about 34. Lakeside's strength was that we had all big kids and Walnut Bend had quite a few younger swimmers, together we had quite a few strong swimmers. We had wonderful kids but we were always coming in third and fourth at Championships. We got our heads together one day and worked it out."
Today the Bayou Swim League consists of The Sharks, the Briargrove Park Stars (Briar Forest / BW8), The Briar Flyers (Briar Village Westheimer / Highway 6), the Westchester Dolphins (Memorial / Dairy Ashford) and the Spring Valley Dolphins (North of I10/Voss) The Sharks are sponsored by gracious families, businesses, and organizations around our area, including our Lakeside Improvement Association. Please support the sponsors found on the team website http://www.sharksswimteam.com/
Becoming a “SHARK”
The Sharks have swimmers as young as 3 and 4 years old, all the way up to 18 years old as of June 1. A child needs not be proficient in all of the strokes. The only requirement is that a child be able to "freestyle" across the pool (25 yards) in less than 2 minutes in order to swim in a meet. Some children will participate in practices until they are able to complete the length in the 2 minutes. Swim team offers the best swim lessons, without the child even knowing it! Practices are held after school at Lakeside from mid-May until school is out for the summer and then they offer rotating morning and afternoon practices throughout June. Meets are on Saturdays as well as one Monday evening and a Relay Invitational meet is held one Wednesday evening. There are potlucks by the pool and "Donut Friday mornings". The season culminates in the Championship meet, held the last Friday and Saturday in June, which leaves plenty of time for those family vacations until school resumes in the Fall.
The fee for joining the swim team is $150 for the first child and $125 for each additional child. The fee covers coaching fees, trophies, awards, and swim meet entry fees and includes a team t-shirt. The entire team, with the exception of our coaches, is run by volunteers. The coaches are historically former “Sharks” that have grown up, and are strong in the fundamentals, stroke mechanics and technique. Each family donates some time whether timing, judging, auditing, selling concessions, operating the computer, etc. Parents have as much fun as their children. Historically, the neighborhood children attend a myriad of schools and the families don’t see each other often during the school year. Swim team is a time when all neighbors come together and we can swim and play with our "summer friends".
Registration begins in mid April and will be posted to the Lakeside Website once details are made available.