Swim school expanding

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Steve Wallen has been teaching people to swim for more than 30 years during which time he’s seen his business grow from his own backyard pool to its current location in El Dorado Hills. Despite a slow economy in recent years, Wallen’s business is doing well enough that he’s currently expanding his facility by 1,000 square feet at it’s current location at 1230 Glenhaven Courte, Suite 100, in Business Park Number 3. Teaching people young and old how to swim is his passion. “This is what I love and it’s what I do,” Wallen said, who’s son, Kaleb, runs to business with him. “Kaleb or I are here 99 percent of the time and we know what to do and how to do it. It’s a great place to bring your kids to learn how to swim.” Wallen’s current business of 4,500 square feet features an indoor heated pool, an area for family members to watch the lessons, two bathrooms, three dressing rooms and an office. He will be adding another viewing area, two bathrooms, three dressing rooms and a room for his five instructors. He hopes the expansion project is done in eight weeks. “When we moved the business here four years ago, our goal was that it would be successful,” Wallen said. “My job is to make the business successful.” Debbie Trivette of Cameron Park brings her son, Jonathan, to swim once a week. Jonathan, 12, has cerebral palsy and enjoys his time in the pool. “This is a tremendous help to him,” Debbie said. “We’ve been coming for nine weeks and they’ve been awesome to him. This is his enjoyment. It loosens his legs up and it’s his physical therapy.” Addison Vicochea, 5, lives in Rancho Murieta but travels to El Dorado Hills for swim lessons. “It’s only her second time she’s been here, but she’s really excited about coming and loves it,” said her mom, Kerri. Wallen’s school primarily offers swim lessons to people of all ages. His youngest client is only five months old, while he has several adult clients, including one who is 85 years old. Not only does he offer lessons to beginning swimmers, but he also teaches kids who are on swim teams, triathletes who want to improve their skills and others who just want to improve their technique. He offers adult classes, stroke technique and fitness swimming. “For the really young kids, we teach water awareness; putting water on their heads, in their face and roll them on their backs,” Wallen said. “We have an 18-month old who can do things in the water. Swimming is a life skill and I’m not talking about playing in the water because that’s two different things. My philosophy is no floatation devices and no goggles. All you need to learn how to swim is a swim suit.” Wallen offers individual and group lessons with prices based on eight, 30-minute lessons. The business is open Sunday through Thursday. For more info call 939-7075 or visit Steve Wallen Swim School Where: 1230 Glenhaven Court Suite 100, El Dorado Hills Hours: Sun., 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.; Mon. - Thurs. 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Phone: 939-7075 Web: