The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

Senior Issue 2024
June 5, 2024

Why swimming in the bay has become controversial at MAST

Some students have concerns swimming in Biscayne Bay, but instructors ensure safety.
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Beacon staff
Due to MAST’s unique location, the bay has become a key part of its offered swimming classes.

At MAST Academy in Virginia Key, some students have turned to swimming in the bay due to recent issues with the school’s pool. However, many express opposing ideas about this alternative. They find the bay less desirable due to concerns about its cleanliness.

Some have voiced worries about water contamination, considering recent advisories in the Virginia Key area and the safeness of swimming in contaminated water.

“…I hope the water isn’t contaminated anymore because I would enjoy swimming in the bay, but not with the water getting me sick,” freshman Emma Llovet said.

Luckily, Coach Rui Gomes, MAST’s Swimming 1 teacher, has some reassuring words for his students:

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“We [ swimming teachers] check Florida Department of Health website to determine if the water on the bay is cleared or not to swim.”

While students understand the bay is an option when pool problems arise, it’s not their preferred choice.

The school is aware of these challenges and is actively working to resolve the pool issues and provide a better swimming experience for the students. 

Despite this, the bay is not only used as a backup for when the pool is not available but, “swimming on the bay is to prepare students to complete the triathlon at the end of the unit by improving their technique and stamina,” according to Coach Gomes.

As a school with a very unique location on the water, MAST academy offers this benefit of being able to swim in different areas other than the school pool.

“Mrs. Hendrickson [MAST’s swimming 2 and 3 teacher] has been going to the bay to perform water activities for more than 16 years now,” Coach Gomes said.

The Bay seems to continue being a resource for students in swimming classes at MAST and coaches will continue to monitor and apply all the necessary safety measures for students.

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About the Contributor
Barbara Leon
Barbara Leon, Sports Editor
Bárbara León, a 14-year-old student at MAST Academy in Virginia Key, is taking a journalism course for the first time. She was born in Venezuela but moved to Miami when she was four years old. She lives in Downtown Miami with her mom and stepdad. León speaks Spanish as her first language but also knows English. She recently started attending MAST Academy and enjoys the location and environment. Despite having no prior interest or experience in journalism, she decided to take the course to improve her writing skills and to learn about journalism. León believes she will enjoy the class because she likes writing and covering stories. She is also interested in trying out beach volleyball, as she already plays court volleyball. León loves the beach and enjoys hanging out with friends and visiting beach towns like Naples and Cocoa Beach. Additionally, she is learning Portuguese to communicate with her family and French at school with her favorite teacher, Ms. Jasmin. Overall, León is excited about the new school year and the opportunities it brings. “I look forward to a successful new school year and new experiences” León said.
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  • K

    KushDec 12, 2023 at 10:05 am

    This generation has gone soft …

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