GREENSBORO, N.C. — A local swim association’s annual championship has a new home at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
There are still the familiar sounds of the buzzer, kids swimming and a lot of chatter in the background, but the overall feel of the city meet has changed.
For the first time in 54 years, the annual swim meet has changed venues from the outdoor pool at Lindley Park to the new Greensboro Aquatic Center.
“The parking’s more convenient here. It was not convenient if you needed to get to Lindley Pool early,” said Patricia Gillispie who came to City Meet to cheer on her son. “It’s nice to be shielded from the weather. We would get caught in a storm every year.”
Nevill Gates who was watching his son compete said he was glad to be protected from the weather but it came with a cost.
“That’s great because you don’t have to worry about the weather, but I do miss the outdoor feel,” said Gates.
Now instead of waiting in outdoor tents, swim teams gather at the Special Events Center while they wait to compete.
“It’s a lot different than what we’re usually used to, but it’s a lot better experience,” said Tommy Silknitter, a swimmer.
“It’s good because it’s an indoor pool so the sun is off, but I guess it’s bad becaue I think it’s a lot more crowded this time,” said Sophia Alem, a swimmer.
Parents felt the new venue was crowded as well, particularly by the pool area.
“The disadvantage I’m seeing right now… is the stands. People are not moving from their seats to go back and sit with their children. So if you want to watch them swim, it’s very hard to find a seat,” said Gillispie.
“This is packed right now and I hope it’s big enough, ya know? It’s really amazing the number of people here,” said Gates.
Swim Coaches are still adapting to the new facility.
“We are running back and forth because they got a boy pool and a girl pool. It’s very hard to watch when you’re a coach if you want to see all your swimmers,” said swim coach, Diane Quillen.