The arrival of warmer temperatures means the sunny days spent by the Egypt Valley pool are drawing nearer. To learn more about what members could expect this year at the pool, we caught up with Egypt Valley Pool Manager, Hunter Ignasiak.
Years before Ignasiak was an Egypt Valley team member, she’d frequently heard stories from her swim teammates about the wonderful atmosphere at the pool.
“My coach Katie Clarin, EVCC manager at the time, hired me in 2016 and I’ve been here since!” said Ignasiak, who has been swimming competitively for 11 years with teams including two USA club teams, Rockford High School and Eastern Michigan University. “Over the years Egypt Valley has provided me with a job that I could only dream of having during the summers. It allows me to work in a setting that I love (the outdoors, and the pool) and share my knowledge of swimming with people.”
The position affords Ignasiak the opportunity to meet people and foster connections throughout the years, which means the world to her.
“The relationships I have made with parents, kids and coworkers are what keeps me coming back to EVCC,” said Ignasiak, whose senior year swim team won the Division 1 State Championships for the first time in school history. She also helped set a Division 1 record that year for the 200 Free Relay.
COVID has challenged Ignasiak to be more creative and flexible when it comes to planning and operating down at the pool.
“With varying restrictions—sometimes coming to us at the last minute—I have to be ready with multiple plans that will deliver programs and events that members will love,” she said. “These COVID restrictions/rules also bring changes in how the pool staff operates, and they have been so flexible and positive as they arise. I am so lucky to have such a hard-working and adaptable group.”
When it comes to what members could expect to be new at the pool this year, Ignasiak said increased membership has played a part, including an increase in sign-ups for junior swimming.
“We have added two new groups to the swim team to accommodate these increased numbers, which also involves more coaches for the kiddos!” she explained. “This also allows each group to be more focused, giving both new and experienced swimmers a very in-depth swim program. Additionally, swim lessons are back to ‘normal’ where instructors will be in the water with the kids!”
Ignasiak notes she and the pool staff will be receiving new CDC/health department guidelines throughout the summer and will plan the safest operations based on that guidance.
With Memorial Day Weekend approaching, there are some things to note.
“We are aware of and are preparing for the increase in traffic at the pool given the growth of our membership,” Ignasiak said. “We ask that you kindly be patient with us as we work through the dynamics of these new numbers. We have an outstanding guard team and they are very excited to meet the new members along with seeing familiar faces.”
The 2021 pool team, Ignasiak notes, has the most experience and background in swimming that Egypt Valley has seen in quite some time.
“14 of our 15 staff members have experience on a swim and dive team, including three collegiate swimmers/divers,” she said. “We have welcomed a new dive coach to the team that will bring an abundance of experience and talent to junior dive. We are greatly looking forward to sharing all of our knowledge with the kids this summer.”
Ignasiak says she’s most looking forward to seeing and coaching the kids, along with leading them through swim meets again.
“That is a big aspect of junior swim/dive that was lost last year due to COVID restrictions,” she said. “I am also excited to meet the new families and members and catch up with those I know! Overall, I am excited to have the pool open for families to use and make memories in. We are so excited to meet and see all of you! Looking forward to a GREAT summer!”
Read more about Hunter and get to know her better by revisiting her Q&A here.