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Fanny Chapman program brings together swimmers of all ages


Julia Wiegers receieved her introduction to swimming courtesy of the Fanny Chapman team.

“Fanny Chapman impacted my swimming career in so many ways because when I first started here I barely knew how to swim,” said Wiegers, a recent graduate of Central Bucks East, where she was on the swim team as well as running spring track and cross country.

“I was 6 years old and just like to have this dynamic and this environment with the amazing coaches here made a big difference for me. It’s so much fun. When you get older you ask youself if you should really come back to summer swimming but coming here and pumping up the little kids and reliving the same experience that you had at their age through them is a great time.”

Wiegers, who is also a lifeguard at the pool, was one of the seniors honored by the team on senior recognition night in the final home dual meet of the year against Harleysville.

“I actually considered myself more of a runner but this just has built the friends for me with just the familiarity of swimming that I built on in my competitive years,” she said.

“I love that I have friends from other schools here, like Gabe Wingert. We became friends here and now he’s one of my best friends and I know our friendship and the other friendships I have here are going to continue.

“It really is a community. People who have graduated come back to visit because it’s such a great environment and we love seeing them.”

The Buxmont League championships are coming up.

“That’s going to be my last championship but I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “It’s going to be a great meet and we always have a party afterwards.”

She will continue her education at the University of Pittsburgh, where she plans to major in neuroscience on a pre-med track, with the goal of becoming a pediatric neurologist.

Wingert came to Fanny Chapman from another summer team.

“I’ve only been here for six or seven years,” said Wingert, a recent Central Bucks West graduate. “Originally I wasn’t that excited to swim here. I originally swam at Lenape Valley.

“I was nervous coming in and didn’t expect to make many friends but I did and it meant a lot to me. It’s probably one of the reasons I kept swimming all these years. I met some of my closest friends here. I don’t know what I’d do without them so I’m happy I stuck with it.”

Wingert was a standout for the Bucks in high school.

“It’s a perfect complement to high school swimming,” he said. “It’s low stress. Usually at West I’m pretty hard on myself but with Fanny it’s just fun to be with everybody and swim my best, even if it’s not the greatest and have a lot of fun. That’s the best part.”

Wingert will go to Temple University for a seven-year accelerated program of three years of biology and then medical school.

“Eventually I want to do something in pediatrics,” he said. “I want to surround myself with kids and I think part of the reason for that is being at these meets.

“My favorite part of being on Fanny Chapman is working with the younger kids. I love being able to go into town and see kids from the team that I know and say ‘Hi’ to them.

“I love building relationships with a bunch of my younger friends. They give me little gifts and we do cheers and it’s so much fun. It’s the highlight of my Tuesday and Thursday nights. I’m going to miss this.”