“I began my swimming career by being told that I would never make it in the sport,” says Ryan Klages, the new aquatics coordinator here at The J. Thankfully — for him and for The J ― a handful of medals, honors, and a scholarship later proved that prediction to have been off target.
“We’re excited to have Ryan jump in to coordinate our aquatics program,” says Aimee Johnson, executive director. “We like his background and his skills, and he’s got the right experience to lead this mainstay program.”
The extensive LJCC Aquatics Program provides opportunities for all swimmers. The 25-yard indoor pool has six lanes and is open year-round. And as the weather warms, J members are getting anxious to dip their toes in the beautiful 300,000-gallon outdoor pool that should be ready in mid-May and will stay open into September.
The program offers year-round lap and family swims, group swim lessons, private swim lessons, masters swimming, and water exercise classes. We also offer lifeguard training.
Keeping it positive
Children can also join the year-round swim team or summer swim and dive teams — all coached by Ryan. “My goal for the summer swim team is to help members gain confidence in the water while participating in a positive experience that they’ll remember for years to come,” he says.
Ryan has been a competitive coach at the high school and club levels for six years. He’s coached All-American swimmers, state champions, and Division I athletes. Most recently, he was head coach of the Montgomery YMCA Barracudas. He holds a bachelor of education degree from Manhattan College in New York.
“I’m excited to be here, and am especially eager to get the kids ready for another competitive season,” Ryan says.