By Lauren Burgess
LOWNDES CO – History was made at the 2019 GRPA Class B Swim Meet held on July 12 and 13 in Tift County. Over 500 young swimmers from all across the state came to compete in the tournament.
Nine-year-old Anjoli Mohanty was one of the many swimmers at the meet, competing as part of the Valdosta YMCA team.
She racked up many individual awards, claiming the bronze medal in three different events, the silver medal in the 25-yard breaststroke, and state champion in the 50-yard freestyle. She has set a record for both the Valdosta YMCA and the community at large.
According to her parents Bikram and Lana Mohanty, Anjoli has always loved swimming since she was just two years old. She started swimming competitively with the team at the YMCA last summer.
“It’s amazing to see how far these kids, and especially Anjoli, have come in such a short amount of time,” said Cole Wilson, Aquatics Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes YMCA. “We started our swim program two years ago with three swimmers. Now we have about 35-40 swimmers. We not only teach them the necessary skills to be successful at swimming but also teach them the value of working together as a team.”
Saralyn Singletary, often referred to as the “Team Mom”, says that it is also great to teach them at a young age to be active. “The swim team is a great opportunity for these kids to spend time with friends outside of school while still being active,” she said. “It is teaching them lifelong healthy habits that will serve them well in the future.”