Swimming lessons back on for Ozark kids at community pool

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OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — The children of Ozark are getting ready to make a big splash because of the new community swimming pool

With such a large public housing facility filled with kids, Mayor Bob Bunting said a community pool was needed.

“I can’t think of a better way to spend the community development block grant money than to serve a community like Ozark that really needed a community pool,” Bunting said.

Bunting said the new pool won’t just be for fun.

Years ago, a local football star who was on a full-ride scholarship to the University of Alabama drowned.

He and three other young men drove into a lake where the football star died because he couldn’t swim.

That accident motivated Bunting to find a way to teach Ozark children how to swim.

Back in 2019, the city taught 200 kids to swim, but this year, due to COVID-19, that number dropped to 177.

Bunting credited the new pool to the efforts of the state and the Wiregrass Foundation.

Not only is Bunting excited, local lifeguards are too.

“Woohoo! I’m just excited that the pools opening back up. Or just excited that it’s open. We’ll be ready to go,” Cheri Holderfield said.

Bunting added they have a swimming team with 12 members so far and ready to compete. He is grateful he can give kids this opportunity.

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