With a variety of sports to choose from, swimming is a bit of a niche sport and is often overshadowed.
However, if new Milford High School swim coach Meaghan Tyndall has her way, swimming will see a renaissance.
Swimming since age 5, Tyndall competed until her junior year in high school and then joined the rowing and water polo teams in college, where she also began coaching for the first time.
Originally from Baltimore, Tyndall married an 11 th -generation Sussex County native. After a stop teaching at Laurel, the path led to Milford.
“My husband and I are building a house in Milton and I really wanted to be a little bit closer to where I was working because I wanted to feel a part of the community and I felt that’s harder when you’re farther away,” Tyndall said. “It was a stroke of luck, I guess, in the midst of submitting an application for a teaching job, I saw they were looking for a swimming coach. It was just really good timing.”
While Laurel was not able to field a swim team while Tyndall was there, she took on a new coaching challenge.
“One of the best things I learned in my time at Laurel as a teacher is the kids need to see you not as just a teacher, but a real person,” Tyndall said. “So, one day I decided to not see them just as students and volunteered for field hockey, even though I didn’t have any experience, to see them outside of their normal day-to-day school activities.”
With a different perspective, Tyndall is ready to help further swimming at Milford this winter, hoping to get as many kids as possible involved, whether that’s joining the team or coming out to meets in support.
“As a transplant from Baltimore I noticed that swimming is not one of the more popular sports and I would like to get to that point here where it’s a popular sport,” Tyndall said. “I know a lot of kids do it as a third sport to stay in shape, but I really want kids that want to take it beyond high school and get scholarship opportunities and more.”
After a unique teacher orientation experience, Tyndall feels more connected to the area.
“Our orientation for new teachers was really great, they took us on a bus tour through Milford and I had no idea how large the district was until we actually started driving,” Tyndall said. “When you talk about a small town or neighborhood in the district, I’ll be able to put a face to it now, which I think is really important.”
Before her first day with the team, Tyndall hopes drawing interest to the high school team will help grow the sport throughout the area, at all levels.
“I want to put swimming on the map and I want to put Milford swimming on the map,” Tyndall said. “At this point, I would really like to see growth within our team and obviously reach beyond, hopefully leading to some feeder programs down the line.”