Erlton Swim Club Gators attempt world record at 50th anniversary celebration

The club had more than 230 participants dressed as alligators to commemorate the club’s history and success.

Swimmers, coaches, parents and members of Erlton Swim Club gathered around the pool to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Erlton Swim Club in Cherry Hill transformed into a sea of green gators during its attempt to create a Guinness World Record in honor of the club’s 50th anniversary.

More than 230 swimmers, parents, coaches and club members dressed in green, topped with with a gator hat and gloves, gathered on Friday, July 21 at the swim club to create the first Guinness World Record for number of people dressed as gators, the club’s mascot, in one place at one time.

Although the required minimum of 250 was not reached to create the record, coordinator and mom Lisa Begley said the event was more than just about numbers.

Erlton Swim Club members posed for photos in their gator hats and green attire at the Erlton Swim Club event.

“It was a great way to celebrate a swim team that’s been around for 50 years,” Begley said. “We had a lot of fun. We didn’t get it, but these kids learn you have a good time, you try and we could try again another time.”

Begley said she got the idea of trying for the world record when she heard the club wanted to celebrate 50 years of the swim team in a fun way. Inspired by Al Roker on the Today Show, who traveled across the nation breaking world records on college campuses, Begley said, she thought creating their own world record would be a fun event to do with club members of all ages.

“Looking at all of these kids, their parents and friends, we had alumni come back, it’s a great family tradition in Cherry Hill, these swim teams, and the camaraderie around all of it is just great,” Begley said. “The kids loved it; the kids that are 18 were hanging out with kids that are 7, 8 and 9.”

To be counted for the record, participants were required to wear a green shirt, gator hat and gloves, made to look like alligator feet, available for purchase prior to the event. On the day-of, all attendees dressed in their gator gear gathered on the club’s tennis court for photos and documentation to be sent to Guinness World Records.

“I don’t think it mattered how many people showed up, it just matters we were all here together as one,” Jack Marble, a 14-year-old Cherry Hill resident, said. “It’s a really nice opportunity to have a team event where we all unite as one body.”

Left: Joei, Graham and Sean Brock, from Haddonfield, stand together in their gator outfits waiting to be let into the counting area. Right: Cherry Hill family Ben, Claudio and Lucas Ricciardi, pose for a photo before the final count of participants in the world record attempt is made.

Cherry Hill Councilwoman Carole Roskoph and Councilman Jim Bannar were also on site to celebrate the club’s anniversary, counting each attendee who participated for the record.

“It’s a great community event to show community spirit,” Roskoph said. “Swim clubs are the heart of our neighborhood, and this is at the heart of community coming together to support each other and celebrate the 50th anniversary.”

At the end of the event, participants surrounded the pool to cheer, chant and celebrate the club’s accomplishments and history.

“One of the big things about a swimming team is they do celebrate little moments, and big, together,” Teri Kasko of Haddonfield said. “This was a great, fun experience for all of the kids; it’s what makes swimming such a special sport.”

Participants make alligator mouths with their hands for a drone photograph, celebrating the event and their accomplishments.