Swords Swim Team

A Youth Swim Team Serving Communities in the Greater South Hadley, MA Area

Were looking for kids who love to swim!

South Hadley Swords is a competitive swim team that provides a welcoming, fun environment for swimmers of all abilities. Children between the ages of 5-18 are invited to join the team. 

The Swords compete in two seasons each year: during the fall/ winter season (early October through the end of January) as a member of the Pioneer Valley Swim League, and a Spring/Summer Season (late April through the end of July) in the Pioneer Valley Summer Swim League.  Competition is by gender and by age groups.

  If you need more information on the Swords Swim Team or on any upcoming event, please contact the team at southhadleyswimming@gmail.com!


Season Information

Swords 2019/20 Winter Season

  • We are offering a Pre-Team Swim Clinic for kids who may be interested in joining Swords. Children who are comfortable in the water and are able to swim a lap of the pool without a flotation device are welcome to sign up for eight sessions of stroke instruction. The two-week clinic begins on Monday, September 30th at 5:30 PM at the MESMS pool. Register on-site at the pool that first night. Cost is $45.  Clinic dates are Monday to Thursday, September 30th - October 3rd, and Monday to Thursday, October 7th - October 10th. Each practice is 5:30 - 6:30 PM. 
  • The regular Swords season will start the following week with practices beginning Tuesday, October 15th at 5:30 PM (session 1 begins Wednesday, October 16th).  Stop by the pool to register during the first week.  

General Information & Reminders

  • Board Members manage team logistics and operations.  Please see a board member if you have any questions.  Current Board Members:  Steve Griffin (President), Tricia Squire & Teresa Mendoza (Co-Vice Presidents), Jess Plotniak (Treasurer/ Secretary), and boards member at-large Bridget Bates and Devon Smith.
  • Contact the coaches directly with any questions about your swimmer.  They both arrive at the pool every day at about 5:15PM, so you can talk to them before practice or, feel free to email or call: 
Matt Chenier @(413) 537-8463 and mpchenier@hotmail.com
Larisa Roy @ (413) 335-8593 and larissaroy31@gmail.com   
  • Before or during the meets is generally not a good time to talk to address issues or ask questions.  
  • Swimmers should check into practice daily -- there is a clipboard at the desk near the entrance to the pool.  The coaches will use this for attendance at both practice and the meets.  Please be sure to indicate on the list if your swimmer will be participating in the meet.  Please let the coaches know if your swimmer will be missing a practice or a meet.
  • Swimmers will continue to get red ribbons for personal best times and blue ribbons for first place races.  Look for the ribbons in their file folders.  Coaches will distribute most improved awards and coaches awards for each session.  Record breakers will get trophies.
  • A new parent meeting is scheduled each session to assist new parents in becoming familiar with the swim team.  The meeting is scheduled for:  TBA 
  • Please be at the pool promptly to pick up your swimmer after practice.  Session 1 swimmers must be picked up inside at the pool area.

Meet Preparation/Information

  • Please be sure to contact the coaches directly if your swimmer cannot make a meet.  Every swimmer's absence impacts the race line up and other swimmers (especially relays).
  • Remember to bring a 6pk of water or soda and a 6pk of sports drink as a concession donation for the home meets (please do so before our first home meet).  Bring it to the pool during practice and put it in the closet. 
  • Coach Matt needs volunteers to assist with pool set-up and closing of the pool for meets.
  • Parent volunteers are essential to run each meet.  It is a team expectation is that one family member will volunteer for half of each meet.  We will continue to use the SignupGenius to coordinate meet jobs and concession donations. Look for an email, with links to sign up, approximately one week prior to each meet. 
  • We are always looking for more parents to learn how to be Stroke and Turn Judges.  You really do not have to be a swimmer to know how to do this!  There will be a training clinic on a date TBD.  Please speak with Coach Matt for more information.  

Can make a huge difference for swimmers and they are NOT expensive!!
Does your swimmer wear glasses?  You may want to consider prescription swim goggles.  They are remarkably inexpensive, starting at only $7.55 (plus S&H) and can make a world of difference for a swimmer.  Swimmers will be able to see the coaches, the clock, other teammates, spectators, and of course, you!
One website that offers much information and guidance, as well as many styles of inexpensive prescription goggles, is swimoutlet.com.
Here is how to order them:
  1. Obtain the eye prescription strength from your doctor
  2. Visit this "How to Choose Prescription Swim Goggles" guide at swimoutlet.com
  3. Shop for the goggle brand, style, color, etc. that the swimmer prefers at swimoutlet.com
  4. Verify the availability of the swimmer's prescription.  Some styles only come in certain prescriptions, so be sure to shop a few styles.  (Note:  If the exact prescription strength is not available, then choose the next WEAKEST strength.  For example:  If 2.25 is needed, then choose 2.00; if -4.75 is needed, then choose -4.50.
  5. Tip:  If each eye has a different prescription, consider ordering 2 pairs of the same style goggles, one of each prescription.  Since the eyecups are interchangeable for most styles, they can be separated and mixed, i.e. one eyecup of each prescription can be connected together.  Plus, you end up with a spare pair of the exact same prescription!!

Be sure to check out our Team Calendar for upcoming events!!



It is a learning opportunity for both swimmers and parents -- swimmers get some races in before the first meet and new parents learn how a meet works.  

Swim meets are a lot of fun but can be a little confusing to newcomers.

New swimmer parents should plan to attend to be trained for one or more volunteer positions at meets.
We ask that some veteran swim parents attend to help train and assist the new swim parents.


by David Benjamin.  Reprinted from Livestrong.com


Swimming is an activity enjoyed by millions of people across the globe. In the competition setting, swimmers compete in numerous disciplines, including the various strokes and distances, as well as different settings, such as pools and open water. A truly international sport, swimming is a long standing marquee event at the Olympic games and is included in countless school athletic programs. Competitive swimming's popularity is due in large part to its numerous benefits.

Swimming Is Non-Contact

In traditional team sports such as football basketball and hockey, athletes constantly run the risk of injury due to collision, and repetitive impact. Swimming by contrast is non-contact and zero impact. Swimming, according to the American Council on Exercise, can have a rejuvenating effect on joints due to the weightless environment it provides.

Lifelong Sport

Competitive swimming can be enjoyed by athletes of almost any age. With little stress to bones and joints, swimming takes less of a toll on older athletes' bodies than contact sports such as American football and soccer. Dara Torres, one of the most decorated swimmers in the sports history, competed at the Olympic level well into her 40's. Swimming boasts a strong network of recreational leagues and meets for all athletes from youths to senior athletes.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Swimming, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, is a superior cardiovascular exercise because it requires the use of every major muscle group at the same time. In the clinical setting, competitive swimmers consistently score well on tests of aerobic fitness. Swimming also burns large amounts of calories, making it a great sport for those trying to lose weight.


Swimming offers numerous sub-categories to accommodate a wide range of athletes. Swimmers can choose to race in one of the four strokes -- freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly -- or all at once -- medley. Swimmers can compete in distances ranging from 50 meters to 10 km. Synchronized swimming is a water-based alternative to gymnastics or dance for athletes who value expression over speed. Swimming can even be combined with other endurance sports, such as in a triathlon.

Our Pool is located at:
Michael E. Smith Middle School
100 Mosier Street
South Hadley, MA 01075

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The Pool Entrance is located on the back of the building across from the basketball court.

Website Last Updated on April 9, 2019

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Created by Dan Kellogg