This letter was printed in Newsday on Friday, November 21, 2008.
The Suffolk County Girls Swimming Championship was held at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood this weekend, and I was very disappointed that Newsday did not carry a story regarding this weekend-long event. There were many stories of other, perhaps more glamorous, high schools' athletic events that were staged over the weekend, but no swimming.
In this year where American Olympic swimmers such as Dara Torres, Natalie Coughlin, and Michael Phelps brought great public attention to the sport, it is sad to see this lack of reporting. A small number of high school athletes will go on to participate on a collegiate level, and an even smaller number will compete as professionals or as coaches. But hundreds of high school swimmers on Long Island each year continue their sport as lifeguards. Many of these new lifeguards continue on to a lifetime of saving lives not only here on Long Island, but throughout the country. Swimming is a sport that should be encouraged and not ignored. I hope to see more articles on our Long Island swimming events in the future.
Editor's note: The writer is president of the Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps.