Olympics create rise in swimming popularity

- Could the next Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky be in a pool near you?  One Bay Area swim club has caught Olympic fever, helping kids reach their full potential.

Ryan Gober is the swim coach for Greater Tampa Swimming Association and said some kids come for the swimming, but stay for the competition. 

"We're just trying to help kids enjoy swimming be safe swimmers," Coach Gober said. "Some kids are going to be more competitive with it other kids are going to do it more recreationally."

The club started in 1956 to get kids swimming. Today, there are more than 170 swimmers, ages 5-18, who swim at the club. Ella Marlow is 13 and set the national record last year in the 50 meter fly.

"I want to race in the Olympics. That would be so cool," she said. "That would be amazing. That's my life goal."

A goal that 17-year-old Morgan Tankersley also has. She holds the fastest time for teens in the 200 meter breast stroke this year.

"Its really exciting. I've never been first before," Morgan said. "I've gotten second, thirds, top 10s, but I have never been number one, so that's really exciting."

Coach said swimmers at his club are also learning life skills.

"They have to be really good at managing their school work, and being here at practice, and being disciplined," Gober said. "Those kind of things go on into life when they get jobs and things like that." 

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Olympics create rise in swimming popularity
  • Bay Area collegiate swimmer encourages kids to get in the water
  • Children's Cancer Center gives families a place to escape
  • What's Right with Tampa Bay: Operation Military Matters
  • Bayou Nature Center connects children with nature
  • Creative writing workshops for kids promote literacy
  • Tampa Bay Heralds of Harmony win big in Vegas
  • Son honor's father's legacy of volunteering
  • Christmas in July benefits young patients
  • "Backpacks of Hope" for students in need of school supplies