Area pool and tennis club celebrates 50 years
Did anyone know there was a huge pool with a 50 year history in the foothills of Yorklyn?
“That is the number one thing I hear about us,” said Yorklyn Pool board member Adam Taylor. “People say, ‘I drive right by there all the time, and I had no idea.’”
Built in 1967 on land purchased by the H.B. du Pont Middle School PTA, the nonprofit pool boasts an award-winning swim team and a growing community of members that rely on grass roots efforts to raise their numbers.
“I spend a lot of time here, and so does my family,” Taylor said. “There’s a genuine sense of community at work here.”
HB du Pont PTA president Donna Stack said that while the PTA doesn’t exactly benefit financially from the lease agreement with the pool (they pay $10 in rent per year), the association with the school continues.
“Every year our eighth graders go there for a pool party,” Stack said. “It’s a long tradition. The pool actually dates back to when there was a Yorklyn school. When that closed, HB took over the spot.”
Now in his third year with the swim team, Coach Tom Janton has taken the team to a number of victories, with the team having won the division championship this year with a full undefeated season and a 6-0 record.
The team competes in the White Division of the Suburban Swim League, and will be moving up to upper division next year, Janton said.
“We brought a lot of stability to the program, and have been growing it throughout these three years, making a presence not only in the league but with competitiveness within the kids,” Janton said. “We have the most qualifying for championships to date. It’s very exciting.”
Now in his 30th year of coaching, Janton said the swim program is not just about summer swimming.
“It’s about healthy competition, and it’s about fun, and fun while learning,” he said. “And the word is getting out, because the program is growing significantly each year.”
He added that he focuses heavily on sportsmanship, drilling what he calls “an easy lesson for me” into their heads each season.
“When we compete, they recognize not only their teammates, but their competitors, and they recognize all the hard work they’re doing,” he said.
Also a member of the Pool, Janton said that the swim team is the underlying energy of the place.
“We created a foundation for the program, rebranded it, and repainted the murals, built trophy cases – it brought cohesiveness back, to where the kids feel a part of it,” he said.
Janton said he discovered the Yorklyn Pool when his kids swam there, and realized it was the same kind of swim environment he enjoyed as a child, adding it helped him make the decision to coach the swim team.
“I wanted to be with them, so I said yes,” he said.
The Yorklyn Pool is hosting a 50th anniversary pool party on Saturday, Aug. 26. Tickets are available now, and include food, open bar, beverages and entertainment.
To learn more about the Yorklyn Pool, including membership rates and tickets to the anniversary party, visit yorklynpool.com.