A Chautauqua Boys’ and Girls’ Club tradition is back for another season: the Water Olympics.
At 2 p.m. today, July 12,Club will be holding its annual Water Olympics at its waterfront as well as Sharpe Field. Clubbers will be split into groups — Groups 1 through 8 — by boys and girls in different grades for a number of activities throughout the day, playing for either the Red or Blue team. The Senior Athletic Club — a group of high school freshmen and sophomores — will also be participating in separate activities.
Groups 1 through 4 will begin on the water, while Groups 5 through 8 alternate between kayak races and group volleyball.
Throughout the day, all groups will participate in activities like the hula hoop relay, where a human chain must be made to pass the hula hoop down the line. The first team that passes the hoop to the end without breaking the chain wins the event.
A Club favorite is Tug-a-Melon, according to Alyssa Porter, director of youth and family programs. The game includes all groups, and players try to get a greased-up watermelon from the middle of the Club’s selected lake area back to their dock to score points. This game, when played by all the teams, is very high energy and a great time, Porter said.
Groups 1 through 4 will play games like Inner Tube Pull, in which a team member’s number is called, and that team member must swim out to the center of Club’s area of the lake to bring their team’s inner tube back to the dock.
As Inner Tube Pull rages on, other groups will be participating in the Sponge Relay, where group members swim out to collect as many sponges as possible. At the end of the game, counselors count the sponges and call the winning team.
From 2 to 3 p.m., Groups 5 through 8 will take turns in a timed kayak race, in which two team members race kayaks around a buoy and pass off the boat. Simultaneously, other groups will be participating in a beach volleyball game to earn points for their respective teams.
Later in the day, Groups 5 through 8 also get to participate in a 25-yard freestyle swimming race and play a water basketball free-throw game to collect points.
The day fosters competitive energy, Porter said, and in the end, the stress and planning of the day is all worth it to see the excitement of the hundreds of kids coming out for the event. As the day winds down, Porter said the excitement continues until the winner is finally announced.