Holiday excitement was in the air on December 8 at the YISS swimming pool as the Aquatics Department held its 8th Annual Jingle Bell Splash! Over the years, this event has become the most anticipated aquatic event among the international schools. Two hundred seventy-five athletes from YISS, SFS, Chadwick, and Dulwich broke last year’s record attendance of 240.
What makes this event so much fun for all? For some, the joy of the event is found in the holiday cheer it brings. With Christmas music, decorations, volunteers wearing Santa hats, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself, this event brings out the fun and festive spirit of the season. As if the atmosphere were not enough, the annual Rudolph Relay is always a big hit. All willing participants “reindeer paddled” wearing antlers and a red nose down the pool lane where they then transferred their reindeer gear to one of their relay teammates. The unique relay made for an exciting time for all participants and parents to watch. This event also helps bring students together from different schools as the relay teams are mixed up, resulting in students of varying ages and schools on teams together.
Others enjoy the Jingle Bell Splash because of the competition and motivation to improve their personal times. Again this year, students received a “Best Time” ticket for each race in which they beat their personal time. The tickets could then be taken to “Santa” to be redeemed for prizes of varying value: 1-ticket, 2-ticket, or 3-ticket items. The “Best Time” initiative has encouraged student-athletes of all ages to pursue excellence rooted in personal time improvement as more important than placement and comparison to others. In fact, 107 YISS swimmers competed in a total of 266 individual events, and 205 (77%) of those were personal best times!
Whether you are in kindergarten swimming for the first time or in high school going for a school record, the Jingle Bell Splash has something fun for all!