The Roundup -

Barracuda Swim Club Offers Classes for All Ages, All Year


Faith Phelps, owner and operator of Barracuda Swim Club, guides a young swimmer during a private swim lesson. (Photo submitted by Faith Phelps)

Barracuda Swim Club owner Faith Phelps had to nearly drown twice to get to where she is today. Though the incidents were childhood mishaps, Phelps spent years training and competing on swim teams to acquire the knowledge she now passes on to others.

Phelps offers swim lessons and water aerobic classes to all ages at the warm indoor pool at the Wyndham Microtel Inn and Suites. She instructs water aerobics Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. She also teaches swim lessons Monday through Friday until 11:30 a.m. Mommy and Me classes involve children under 3 years old and their mothers, and they are held on Mondays at 9:50 a.m.

"I will teach anyone who doesn't know how to swim," Phelps said. "I've had a lot of adults tell me they don't know how to swim, and I'd like to teach them how."

The recently transplanted Arizona girl founded Barracuda Swim Club, LLC six months ago when she learned Sidney did not have a year-round swim club or an indoor pool. Armed with her passion for swimming but no tools, Phelps took to Facebook to ask who would be interested in swim classes. The online post garnered much interest.

"I had so much response; my phone was blowing up," Phelps said.

She made a deal with a motel swimming pool, took out a loan, bought equipment, worked part-time at another job, and started the swim club.

"It happened so quickly," she said. "We had so many customers. At one point, we had over 100 spots filled, between kids in swim lessons and people in water aerobics."

Despite its move from the Holiday Inn to the Microtel swimming pool, the swim club remains successful. It has fewer participants than it once did, however, due to time constraints with motel guests using the pool. Phelps can only utilize the mornings for her classes now.

"We have the customers; we just don't have the most convenient hours for them," Phelps said. "Whatever parents can work out, I work with them."

Phelps has seen much success conquering children's fear of water.

"I teach a nine-year-old who couldn't swim," Phelps said. "He hyperventilated when he looked at the water. Today, he swims back and forth across the pool all by himself, and he looks like he's been swimming his whole life. He could go be on the swim team if he wanted to."

Phelps said she could make a list of her students who at first could not get in the pool but now beg to jump in the water. Showing parents their child's results is a priority to her.

Jackie Laqua has seen "100% improvement" in her 3-year-old daughter.

"She was afraid of the water," Laqua said. Now her giggling, enthusiastic daughter smiles so big in the swimming pool that she chokes on the water.

Phelps said she believes trust is a major component in teaching people to feel comfortable swimming.

"Once they trust me, I can show them how to do things, and they immediately catch on," she said.

In Phelps' water aerobics classes, the ability to swim is not a requirement. The low-impact workouts are designed for those with arthritis, joint replacements, or simply the desire to have fun.

"It's awesome because it's for anybody," Phelps said. "I do the classes every single day and that's how I get my workout."

Water aerobics classes start at $40 a month, and swim lessons start at $68 for a group class. Private lessons are also available. Phelps currently offers special holiday prices. Barracuda Swim Club also has t-shirts, hoodies, and pants for sale.

To contact Faith Phelps, visit Barracuda Swim Club, LLC on Facebook or email

"For me, it feels like I don't have a job because I just do what I like to do," she said.


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