By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, August 8, 2022–Amber Connor is more than willing to work hard in swimming.

The Chapel Trail Elementary School fifth grader loves everything about the sport including the social aspect and dry land training.

“I like swimming with my teammates, I made a lot of friends,” Connor said. “At the same time I still have to focus on swimming. I really love dry land. I like pushups, crunches, running and all the types of exercises we do.”

Connor loves to support her SOFLO team. The last time SOFLO had a fundraiser she called all her relatives and told them “they had to contribute,” according to her mom.

Connor, 10, currently swimming with the Meteorites, will move up to Asteroids and work with Coach Luis this month. Her next meet is the Aug. 27 SOFLO/TYR Back To School Developmental Meet.

Connor has been swimming for four years. She learned how to swim and then joined SOFLO where she worked with Coach George and moved up the ladder from pre-team to Little Dippers and Dippers. Her older sister, Jiana, 14, also swims.

“I like the swimming competition the most,” Connor said. “I am competitive.”

Connor competed in an after-school soccer program but said swimming is now “the priority.”

Her favorite stroke is freestyle. “I’ve been getting a lot better with freestyle,” she said.

Connor has progressed with every swim meet. She was most happiest with the Last Chance Summer Invite when she got three Junior Olympics cut times in the 50 butterfly, 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle. “I like the short, fast races,” she said.

Her goals for the season with Asteroids are to “get at least five more JOs so I can move up. I know I have to work hard and keep up.”

Her mom, Marsha, has watched her daughter become more disciplined with her time thanks to swimming.

“She is disciplined with her time and makes sure she gets to her classes on time,” Marsha said. “I’m glad she got involved with swimming just to have a set routine and be able to manage homework, school and swimming.”

She loves the fact that both of her daughters are involved in swimming.

“I love it because I never learned to swim when I was young. I knew living in Florida I wanted them to learn to swim when they were young. By them just going to swim classes I found out about swimming competitions. I entered them and never looked back.

“I think it’s taught them discipline. It gets them out of the house doing some form of exercise. I like swimming as an exercise sport. I’m learning how much time and commitment it takes.”

Connor said her mom supports her and motivates her on both her good and bad days in the sport.

“I let them know that setbacks in life are expected. Swimming teaches life lessons and setbacks happen. I let her know she can be down for a little bit but you have to get yourself back up and push harder because anything you want in life is not going to be easy. You have to make the effort.”

A normal day for Connor is school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. After coming home and eating, she gets ready for swimming practice at 4. After dinner she does homework and then goes to bed. She also makes time for her favorite computer game Roblox. Connor hopes to swim in high school and would like to work toward a college scholarship.

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack. Connor joins SOFLO teammates Eva Ortiz (May), Sally Golding (April), Natalie Gembicki (March), Sofia Lugo (February) and Valentina Remmele (January) as 2022 Swimmers of the Month.

SOFLO sponsor TYR is a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies.

TYR, created by athletes, is named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology. Among its female-sponsored athletes are ESPY Sportswoman of the Year Katie Ledecky, 2020 Olympians Simone Manuel, Lilly King, Annie Lazor, Ashley Twichell and other elite swimmers Melanie Margalis, Molly Hannis and Kelsi Dahlia.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com