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“Dig, dig, dig!”

John Beck, director of the Sedona Swimming Academy, back, helps  Mikayla Veale, Lucas Lopez, Rac Zynski, Mia Veale, Philip Rotherham and Edward Siegel, from left, kick with their legs as they learn how to swim Wednesday, June 4, at the Sedona Community Pool.

It wasn’t a volleyball or football practice, but a more serious life skill being taught at the Sedona Community Pool that had John Beck, his coaches, and in turn their 25 students in the Sedona Swimming Academy, churning the foamy water frenetically with kicking legs.

“Keep digging,” incoming Sedona Red Rock High School senior Benny Guadarrama exhorted five bobbing, wet five-year-olds as they clung to the sides of the pool. “You’re going to push out in the water and do a freestyle kick.”

Beck, academy director and former University of Notre Dame swimmer, encourages all children ages 6 months to 17 years old to learn from himself, Guadarrama and other coaches by signing up for one of the three remaining two-week sessions of swimming lessons at the pool, adjacent to Posse Grounds Park.

“At the Sedona Swimming Academy, we teach kids to swim,” Beck said. “We do this to save lives and build champions in the pool and in life.”

About 50 students, some less than a year old, were registered for the first session, Beck said, which consists of eight half-hour classes that began Monday, June 2, and finish Thursday, June 12.

For the full story, please see the Friday, June 6, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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