ACC Swimmers Participate in Community Connections Program

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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. - Twelve Atlantic Coast Conference swimming student-athletes from nine different schools took part in an ACC Community Connections outreach event Thursday morning before the start of preliminary events at the 2012 Men's Swimming Championship.

The student-athletes read the books Why Should I Eat Well by Mike Gordon and Froggy Learns To Swim by Jonathan London, and talked with the elementary students about the importance of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. They also introduced the basics of the sport, explained the different strokes, talked about life as an ACC student-athlete, and answered questions from the 200 students in attendance.

It was a good experience and I think all of the kids enjoyed it," said Morgan Latimer, a freshman swimmer for Virginia Tech. "Talking with them about college and getting them excited for it was a good thing. We got to talk with them about swimming and what stroke they like to do, and they were interested in talking with us about where we go to school."

The students, first through third graders from Falling Branch Elementary, a local Christiansburg, Va., school, were able to stay after the program and watch Thursday's preliminary events. The ACC will donate the books to the school to use in their library in a presentation during the finals on Saturday night.

"It was a great experience for the elementary students to be able and talk to the athletes about the importance of college and learn about the sport of swimming," said Donald Moore, ACC Assistant Director of Championships. "It was great that our student-athletes were able and willing to share their morning and talk with the local elementary students."

The ACC Community Connections Program, now in its second full year, takes place at all of the conference's Olympic sport championships. The program aims to get local elementary students the chance to talk with ACC student-athletes, learn about the sport and attend part of the championship, and to donate books to the schools' libraries.

Live coverage of the finals on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday can be seen on starting at 7:20 p.m. For more on the 2012 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships, head to the official website at