Swim Coach Profile: Coach Katie McGowan

Queenie Yeung, Journalism Student

Coach McGowan is ready to ignite the year of 2012 with Bethel High School’s swim team to the best of their capacity.

Since Coach McGowan came to BHS four years ago, she has coached the freshman and varsity field hockey for the fall and the swim team for the winter.

She says, “We are the only team in state that has a co-ed swim team. Most schools have a girls’ team for the fall while the boys’ swim in the winter.”

Ms. McGowan swam her entire life and competed in competitions during college. Now as a coach, she too, has expectations for her team to follow.

“They should show up to practice, be ready to work hard and give 100%”, she says. “We practice two and a half hours; 30 minutes on dry land to build upper body strength and the rest for swimming. However, our divers require special training from Coach Tom Lovelett who is from New Fairfield.”

The swim team puts in its best effort, but not having its own pool does create some stress for team members and their families. Ms. McGowan says, “We usually practice at Westconn’s pool or the Dive Shop in Brookfield. The distance is an issue for the swimmers because some parents don’t want to drive as much and there’s no bus to get to the meets.”

Early this year, the idea of building a large pool was offered and its ideal location would be part of Bethel High School. However the pool itself would not only be accessed by the districts’ schools, but also act as a community pool for the town of Bethel.

“We would be excited about the new pool because the school wouldn’t have to pay to use a pool every time,” she explains. “We hope a private donor would help the town of Bethel and our school.”