One former Fairfax Frog swim team member traveled from a remote island in the Indian Ocean to re-live her Fairfax Swimming Pool glory days with her former teammates, July 21-23.
“We [husband and I] came up from Florida,” said Roberta Henry, a former Frog. “We wouldn’t miss this for anything.”
Fairfax Frogs from the 1950s to the present got together because they still feel like team members after so many years away from the pool. Mike Morgan, a Frogs swimmer in the 1980s, said the sense of community that the pool and the team brought for so many of its members is what made them want to get together again. They also thought it might be nice to re-live some of their glory days, said Morgan, since many of the Frogs’ swimmers from the 1970s and 1980s don’t hold all of the pool's records anymore.
“We decided to reconnect last summer after a record was broken, and we thought it would be great to meet each other again,” said Deena Rannazzisi, a former Frog.
They didn’t exclude anyone from the fun though. Morgan said the weekend was an “all eras, all generations” reunion. The festivities also happened to coincide with the pool’s 50th anniversary. The idea for the reunion came from Hayden Codding, a close friend of Morgan’s and a Frog from 1974 to 1988. Codding still lives near the pool, serves on the board of directors and now has two sons who swim there as well.
“I love the sense of community,” said Codding. “The swim team is unique since it has kids from 6 to 18, for boys and girls together on the same team.”
Morgan said it was exciting to have the events around this time, since the 50-year-old pool is set for some major renovations this year. The pool’s board of directors wants to sell half an acre of its 3-acre property in order to finance the renovations to the pool. A recent health code inspection determined the diving boards were not safe, which prompted board members to look at renovating the entire pool. The proposed design would add a Z-shaped pool, with many special features such as wider lanes, an oval entry area and a beach-entry baby pool. This is another reason why Morgan said the reunion was special, since it was the last time everyone would be able to get together before the old stomping ground is reconstructed.
“This is the last time to see the old pool before the new one is built,” said Codding.
“The tone of the pool is still the same — it’s the friendliest out there,” said Henry.
Some families have three generations of Fairfax Frogs, and the families are what keep the place afloat, said Morgan. The parents are very involved as team reps, clerks of course, announcers, starters, stroke and turn officials, timers, diving scoring judges, concessions and awards volunteers. And of course, said Morgan, they lead the caravan on early Saturday mornings to make to the meets to cheer loudly.
“This is a real special place for all of us,” said Morgan.