My title reminds me of Dr. Seuss’s One Fish Two Fish.  Despite my love for this author, alas today’s post is not going to be a fantastical poem!  It does capture my musings about why a small swim club seems to be a better choice right now for my daughter. 

I spent this past weekend at a two-day district swim meet for 8- to 12-year-olds.  The high-point team awards for the meet were divided into two categories:  general awards and awards for small clubs.  I don’t have exact numbers handy, but small clubs are probably under 100 swimmers and big clubs are over. 

In our town of Fort Collins, Colorado, two swim clubs vie for swimmers:  FAST (a big club) and Vortex (a small club).  I am on the board of the Vortex club.  I chose the smaller swim club for my daughter because although swimming is her favorite activity, she still balances this with other interests. 

There seems to be some misunderstanding about our small club by certain members of bigger clubs.  We are not folding or going under just because we’re small!  Also, for the size of our club, I have been told that percentage-wise we send more swimmers to State than other clubs.  So we’re clearly available to meet the needs of the competitive swimmer. 

But we’re also available to meet the needs of the swimmer who might not be interested in or able to compete at the top levels.  Amy is friends on the team with one girl who is a dwarf, another who has Downs’s syndrome, and yet another who is legally blind.  And, guess what – those girls all compete in various meets.  I appreciate the diversity on the team and the opportunity for Amy to broaden her definition of success in the world. 

I also feel that Amy’s been presented with an opportunity that she may not have been offered on a larger club with a greater number of swimmers.  A few of the 9 – 10 girl swimmers made some State times, which allows them to bring other swimmers (whether or not they’ve qualified) along with them for the 9 – 10 State relays.  

Though Amy didn’t qualify for State, she is the fourth fastest 9 – 10 girl freestyler on Vortex, so she will be swimming two State relays in early March.  She knows this is an honor and she’s started working extra hard to train for these swims. 

So, is bigger better?  You tell me.  Post your comments below, or e-mail me at  

Mama J (Diane Fromme) is a writer, parent, and stepparent located in Northern Colorado.  For more information on her book, Stepparenting the Grieving Child, go to

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