EVO/RIO Update for Week of 3/22

As you might expect, we will remain closed for another week amid the Covid-19 crisis. There will be NO CHARGES to anyone for April tuition at this time. After we know when and how we will re-open, we will be communicating when the next payment will be due. At a minimum we will be open for at least two weeks before payments will be taken as everyone currently has two weeks of credit on file due to our closure the 2nd half of March.

We look forward to seeing the bright and happy face of children swimming in our pools as parents watch their successes. We look forward to our staff returning to work and providing you with the quality swim lessons our facility is known for.

I will continue to update you as we move forward. Thank you, be safe and stay vigilant.

David Tait
EVO Swim School
RIO Swim Club

I wanted to take a moment and touch base with all of our customers in reference to our approach and preparation for disease control in the wake of the coronavirus news coverage.

We are taking a proactive approach to ensure we are safe, smart, and sensible.

You can feel SAFE at our facilities as we take measures to be exceptionally clean above and beyond our already strict standards of cleanliness. All surfaces that can be touched by hand are being sanitized at the end of morning AND at the end of evening shifts. This includes all door handles, toilet and changing partition handles and locks, benches and chairs, drinking fountains, and front desk surfaces. All cleaning is done at or above CDC standards.

We do have the advantage of operating in chlorinated water. Our chemical levels are checked three times per day to ensure the proper balance. Chlorine is effective in stopping the spread of the coronavirus and it can not be transmitted through properly chlorinated water.

Let’s all be SMART as we move forward and adhere to common standards of hand washing, avoiding unnecessary touching of other’s hands, avoid touching your face without washing your hands first, and staying home if you feel ill. Our instructors are now required to wash their own hands before every shift. Hand sanitizer is available at our schools as long as we can purchase it, but we have ample supplies of soap. WASHING YOUR HANDS IS THE EASIEST WAY TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF DISEASE.

Let’s also be SENSIBLE. While the spread of this virus is serious, let’s understand one key fact. This virus is not killing children. While it is dangerous for the elderly, it simply isn’t a fatal sickness for children who are otherwise healthy.

The flu is far more dangerous for children as it relates to death or critical illness. Let’s be vigilant in stopping the spread of all communicable illnesses. These measures will help and give us confidence to continue to be safe, smart and sensible without crippling our daily lives.

Thank you,

David Tait
EVO Swim School
RIO Swim Club
480-404-6191 office

Competitive Junior Group & Coach Melissa Ripley

We are pleased to announce the arrival of a specialized Development Team group called “Competitive Juniors”. This group is designed to help developmental level swimmers obtain higher level skills and prepare for our Competitive Squad to be a college bound athlete.

We have the most qualified coach in the state to lead this group. Coach Melissa Ripley has been coaching age group swimmers for over 40 years. Melissa is a three time Olympic gold medalist in 1972 and has devoted her life to the sport. She is a perfectionist and loves to teach sound fundamentals to kids who want to the be the best they can be. Read Melissa’s full bio below.

> Practices start August 12th
> Swim M/W or T/Fri at the EVO Mesa/Gilbert location
> 5:30pm start time
> 6-9 yrs old swim for 1 hour per practice (may vary based on ability)
> 9-12 yrs old swim for 1.5 hours per practice (may vary based on ability)
> $150 per month for 1 hour practice schedule
> $185 per month for 1.5 hour practice schedule
> Required equipment can be purchased at any EVO location: kick board, snorkel, long fins, duckies, bouy (older), water bottle, equipment bag


Melissa Louise Belote was born on October 16, 1956 in Washington D.C. and grew up in Springfield, Virginia. She has been called one of America’s greatest swimmers. Melissa is the middle child of Florence and Buddy Belote. She has two sisters Barbara and Jenny.

Melissa first appeared on the national swimming scene at the age of 12 (1969) when she qualified for her first United States National Championship.

In 1972, Melissa won both the 100 and 200 meter Backstroke at the United States Olympic Trials and set a world record in the 200 meter Backstroke.

Later that year in Munich, Germany, Melissa led the women’s American Swim Team as she won three Gold Medals. She placed first in the 100 meter Backstroke, setting an Olympic and American record. She finished first in the 200 meter Backstroke setting a World, Olympic, and American record. She also swam the lead off leg on the World, Olympic, and American record setting 400 Medley Relay team.

In 1973, Melissa continued her dominance when she won the 200 meter Backstroke at the World Championships.

In 1976, Melissa made her second Olympic team, which competed in Montreal, Canada. Melissa finished fifth in the 200 meter Backstroke, setting a new American record.

From 1970 to 1979, Melissa won 8 AAU Individual National Championships and was a 16 time AAU All-American. She also won 6 individual National Collegiate Swimming Championships and led her college team, Arizona State University to two National Championships. Melissa was a four-year All-American at Arizona State University.

In 1972 and 1973, Melissa was the runner-up for the Sullivan Award, the highest amateur award recognized in the United States. In 1977, she won the Broderick Award as the Outstanding Women’s Collegiate Swimmer in America.

Melissa is in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the Washington Hall of Stars, the Arizona State University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. In 1999 Melissa was selected to the United States Swimming “Team of the Century,” as well as, Sports Illustrated Top 50 Athletes from the state of Virginia, and the Arizona Republic Newspapers Top 100 Athletes of Arizona.

Melissa has been involved with swimming, either as a swimmer or coach, since 1965 when she started competing as an 8 year old at her community swim club, Springfield Swim & Racquet Club. In addition to her coaching responsibilities as Head Age Group Coach at Rio Salado Swim Club, Melissa is the Head Swim Coach at McClintock High School.

Melissa is married to Richard A. Ripley and they have two children, Rachel Alexandra (28) and Erik Alexander (26). Rachel swam at the University of Missouri and graduated in 2013. Erik swam at Towson University and graduated in May 2015.

Melissa Belote Ripley
> 40 year’s coaching age group swimming, 14 years High School coaching
> Four time All-American for Arizona State University
> Six time National Collegiate Champion for Arizona State University
> Olympian (1972 & 1976)
> Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist (World, Olympic and American Record holder)
> World Champion 1973 – 200 m Backstroke
> Sullivan Award Runner-up (1972 & 1973) – Top Amateur Athlete in American
> Broderick Award (now called Honda Award) for Outstanding Women’s Collegiate Swimmer (1977)
> Fiesta Bowl All-American (1977)
> Arizona Republic Newspaper – Women Athlete of the Year (1977 & 1978)
> Inducted into the Arizona State University Athletic Hall of Fame (1981)
> Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (1983)
> Inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame (1989)
> Sports Illustrated Top 50 Virginia Athletes (1999)
> Arizona Republic 100 Greatest Arizona Athletes (1999)
> USA Swimming – Female 200 Backstroker of the Century
> Named to the PAC 12 All-Century Team – 100 Years of Champions, 1915 – 2015
> Inducted into the Arizona Swimming Hall of Fame (2016)



Our Masters Adult Swim Program is for everyone. Beginners, fitness swimmers, and triathletes are all encouraged to join. Start your day off right with a morning workout or blow off some steam with a workout at the end of the day. So let’s get fit, reduce stress, and make new friends with other adults just like you!

> Swimmers must be able to swim 200 yards without stopping
> All evening workout times are un-coached
> Workouts can be provided upon request to [email protected]
> Must be able to swim at least 750 yards to swim with the SanTan Gilbert morning group

> Monday through Thursday 5:30 – 6:30 AM (coach on deck at least 2 days per week)
> Friday and Saturday practices will be coordinated on a week by week basis
> Morning tuition: $50 per month to swim as much as you like.
> Morning pay as you go option, $50 up front with $5 deducted with each visit
> $25 once annual insurance fee upon enrollment ($35 for a family)

EVENING LAP SWIM (EVO SanTan Gilbert Location)
> Monday through Thursday 7:15 – 8:15 PM

EVENING LAP SWIM (EVO Mesa/Gilbert Location)
> Monday & Wednesday 6:00 – 7:00 PM
> Saturday 8:00 – 11:00 AM

> Evening tuition: $26.25 per month to swim as much as you like.
> $25 once annual insurance fee upon enrollment ($35 for a family)



Summer Swim League is an extension of the RIO Swim Club (EVO’s competitive swim club) and is designed for children of all ages and abilities.

PRIOR EXPERIENCE IS NOT REQUIRED, however, we do require a quick evaluation of skills for group placement (see group descriptions below).

Practices will begin Tuesday, May 28th and continue for eight weeks. Our season will end with our season finale meet on Saturday, July 20th.

– must be able to swim across a 25 yard pool without stopping
– all ages welcome 7 years and older

– must be able to swim the basics of three of the four competitive strokes
– all ages welcome

– must be able to swim the basics of all four competitive strokes
– all ages welcome

– must be legal in all four competitive strokes by USA Swimming Standards
– all ages welcome

LOCATIONS & PRACTICE TIMES: (can swim 1x, 2x, or 3x per week)
EVO SanTan Gilbert Location:
* M-Th 8:00-9:00 a.m.
* M-Th 3:00-4:00 p.m.
EVO Mesa/Gilbert Location:
* M-Th 4:00-5:00 p.m.
EVO Queen Creek Location: (intro level not offered at this location)
* Tu-TH 6:00-7:00 p.m.
* Sat 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Chandler High Pool: (intro level not offered at this location)
* M-Th 5:00-6:00 p.m.

– $83 per month for 1x per week
– $109.25 per month for 2x per week
– $131.25 per month for 3x per week
– $16 for each swim meet you chose to attend (meets are optional)
– $25 once annual insurance fee per child ($35 for a whole family)

– rubber fins at every practice
– team suit and/or team cap (if you attend any swim meets)
– goggles
– all items available for purchase at all locations

SWIM MEET SCHEDULE (evenings meets):
– June 1st @ Chandler High
– June 14th @ McClintock High
– June 29th @ Chandler High
– July 19th / July 20th @ Chandler High

High School Swimmers Can Balance Swimming and Life with the Power Hour!


The POWER HOUR is designed for the high school swimmer who is balancing swimming with acedemics or other activities. Each practice is healthy mix of TECHNIQUE & INTENSE TRAINING. Offered at three east valley locations.

EVO SanTan Gilbert (Pecos & Greenfield)

7pm to 8pm M-Th
Swim 1, 2, or 3x’s per week
$83, $109.25, or $131.25 per month

EVO Mesa/Gilbert (Power & Elliot)

4pm to 5pm M-Th
Swim 1, 2, or 3x’s per week
$83, $109.25, or $131.25 per month

Hamilton High Pool (AZ Ave & Ocotillo)

6:15pm to 7:45pm M-Th
Swim 1, 2, or 3x’s per week
$83, $109.25, or $131.25 per month

Call 480-404-6191 for details or pre-register HERE.

Making the Full Evolution with EVO Swim School

image1Miss Addison started at EVO, as an Otter, when she was just 2 1/2 years old.

Below is her success story (narrated by her Mother):

“I was very nervous for Addison on that day because at that age she didn’t like men at all. Coach Bryn was amazing with her. She quickly graduated that Otter level, and several other levels.

At 6 years old she has graduated the top lessons level Dolphin and is now eligible for the swim team!

Coach Bryn has been with her every step of the way along with Coach Ashley and Coach Nick who are all so proud of her.

Thank you EVO for your outstanding swim program and the talented coaches you have!”

EVO Mesa/Gilbert Location NOW OPEN!

This state of the art facility includes an indoor teaching pool for swimming lessons and an outdoor, 8 lane, 25 yard pool for competitive swimming. Siblings can participate in lessons and swim team at the same time! 90% of the outdoor pool is covered with shade sails and our indoor viewing room provides an air conditioned space that enables you to see both the indoor and outdoor pools at the same time.

– Mon – Thu 3:30pm-7:15pm
– Wed 9:00am-12:00pm
– Fri 3:30pm-6:15pm
– Sat 8:00am-12:15pm

– $155 (two lessons per week)
– $135 (two lessons per week with four month commitment)
– $86 (one lesson per week)
– $25 insurance fee, once per calendar year ($35 for a whole family)

– $135 (three practices per week)
– $113 (two practices per week)
– $86 (one practice per week)
– $25 insurance fee, once per calendar year ($35 for a whole family)

Advanced Stroke Group:
– M-Th evenings and Saturday morning practices offered
– 60 minute practices
– Swim one or two days per week
Development 1 Group:
– M-Th evenings and Saturday morning practices offered
– 60 minute practices
– Swim one or two days per week
Development 2 Group:
– M-Th evenings and Saturday morning practices offered
– 90 minute practices
– Swim one, two, or three days per week
High School Development Group:
– M-Th afternoon practices offered
– 60 minute “Power Hour” practices
– Swim one, two, or three days per week


4 Fun Games For Kids to Practice Holding Their Breath

baby-holding-breathWhen your child begins to take lessons at our Gilbert swim school, one of the first things they will learn is how to hold their breath underwater. This skill is not only important for their safety, but also for their comfort so they can grow to be independent, strong swimmers.

In EVO’s Otter classes, our skilled instructors will teach your child the basics of holding their breath. Like any other form of education, the most successful swim students are the ones that practice outside the “classroom.”

After taking your child home from their swim lessons, try playing a few of these games so they can practice their new skills.

Bathtub play: Pour large cups of water over your child’s head while in the bathtub. This kills two birds with one stone by helping them learn how to hold their breath and get used to having water in the face. Make sure you count to three before you pour the water to give them a familiar signal that it’s time to take a deep breathe and pucker up!

Bubble blowing: Encourage them to blow bubbles. This easy activity helps them learn breath control and how to expel air when their mouth is underwater.

“Eyes wet:” See how long your child can keep their “eyes wet” in the tub or pool. Count while they put their face in the water and hold it there. Shoot for 5 seconds at first (making sure they come up for air before they get uncomfortable or scared), and work your way up to 10 seconds at a time.

Submerge intervals: In the pool or bathtub, count out loud to three, and submerge your child under the water just until their entire head gets wet. Do this on an interval of every 5-10 seconds. This helps them learn how to hold their breath, then breathe, then prepare to hold their breath again many times in a row. Start with one submersion, and work your way up until they’re comfortable doing it up to ten times in row.

Want more tips on how to help your child be the best swimmer they can be? Contact our Gilbert swim school staff at 480-539-2660.

Ask David (and Kim): What Should I Say When My Kids Complain About Swimming?

>As a parent signing your child up for our Gilbert swimming lessons, you’re probably feeling a wave of excitement, questions, and maybe even a few concerns. “When should I start teaching them how to swim?” “How many lessons do they need?” “Should I buy any gear or equipment?”

At EVO Swim School, our goal is to offer the very best aquatic instruction for infants, children, pre-competitive swimmers, and adults. Part of that instruction includes helping people be knowledgeable and confident swimmers, so from time to time, Owner David Tait will discuss answers to some of the common questions he receives from parents and students at our school.

This month, David welcomes a special guest — his wife, Kim — to share advice about how to respond when your child complains about taking swimming lessons.

1. What are the most common complaints you hear from kids about swim lessons?

David: The most common complaint I hear from our young students is not wanting to go to lessons because they are not yet confident and/or comfortable in the water yet. Most kids are just uncomfortable until they figure out they can swim on their own. Think about how you felt when you were learning to ride a bike! That’s probably how your child is feeling now.

Kim: The one thing I’ve noticed is that every single child goes through an adjustment period when being introduced to formal swim lessons. Some (few) adapt more quickly and are happily swimming along in no time. Others (most) are not so keen on things like dipping their head underwater and may put on a good show of how upset they are about it.

2. Where do you think those complaints stem from?

David: Uncertainty is #1. Sometimes, kids feel pressured or scared of swimming, but that’s often just uncertainty in disguise. Fortunately, our swimming instructors have specific techniques for building confidence so they feel more secure and less fearful.

3. What should parents and coaches say to address those common complaints?

David: The #1 mistake parents make is giving a child who doesn’t know how to swim the “option” of taking swimming lessons. They must understand that this is mandatory, not a choice. This is for their own benefit and safety.

If a child feels like they have a say in the matter, they normally cry and rebel much harder and longer, whereas if they feel like it’s just a fact of life, they will be far more teachable and willing to try new things.

EVO’s coaches talk to parents to let them know that crying is normal and not a cause for concern or embarrassment. Tears are part of the game and can easily be washed away if the parents support the coach’s instruction. Kids cry every day, but they also overcome those tears every day!

Kim: Agreed. Our children went through various periods of crying during swim lessons. You can imagine how frustrating this was for us! But we realized early on that it is a very common and natural response for any beginner.

Their response is very similar to when I dropped my children off for their first day of school. It is a new environment where they are being challenged to do difficult things that might be outside of their comfort zone. But in the end, I knew the same thing about swim lessons that I knew about their classroom: If I am consistent and encouraging, they will grow confident in their abilities. If I – as their mom – am strong, and try not to validate their fears by rushing in and “rescuing” them, they will soon realize that a swim lesson is not something to be afraid of!

4. Any other words of wisdom for parents trying to help their kids overcome their fears and embrace the water?

Kim: Starting to take our Gilbert swimming lessons comes with lots of uncertainty, but I know a few things for sure:

A. The instructors your children are working with are top notch.
B. Children are capable of doing hard things.
C. Learning to swim in Arizona is not really optional. Kids can cry during lessons as a three year old, or they can cry during lessons as a ten year old. Either way, they have to learn sometime!

Today, our children are happy, confident swimmers. We wish our students and their family the same success. As a parent, the greatest thing you can do for your child may be to step outside of their eyesight and let an amazing, qualified instructor teach them the life-saving skill of swimming. Your child may find this uncomfortable at first…and in all honesty, so will you! But, like most difficult things, it is well worth it. And, in the end, you know as well as we do…they can totally do it!

For more advice from David and Kim or information about swim lessons at EVO, get in touch with us at 480-404-6191.