Thursday, June 2, 2011

YOTA Dives In: Black Heritage Swim Meet

According to a study commissioned by USA Swimming, nearly 70 percent of black children and 58 percent of Hispanic children have little or no ability to swim. Fourteen years ago, a group of North Carolina parents decided to change those statistics.

They formed a traveling swim team called the North Carolina Aquablazers and in 2003, they started the National Black Heritage Championship Swim Meet.

This year, 738 swimmers participated May 28-29 in Cary. The YMCA of the Triangle (YOTA) Swim Team sent 38 swimmers to the meet, 30 of them from the Durham YMCA. Read this email Durham Coach Tom Hazelett received from a parent.

Dear Tom and the YOTA Durham Coaching Staff, 

Tom & some of his YOTA team
This is to you and the other coaches. I just wanted to take the time  to thank all of you for your thoughtful dedication toward the kids. What I saw in you and your whole team of coaches is what coaching is about. Even though my kids don't swim for the Durham  YOTA team, you all took the time to give them the structured pointers that they needed to improve their abilities.

I don't want to leave out, that it was done in such a way, that they had a very fun time at the meet. You and your team of coaches, along with the kids that my kids don't normally swim with, deserve to be recognized.

Any coach can take a gifted kid and make them better, but it takes a great coach to take kids with average abilities to levels they never thought possible. You and your coaching staff have what it takes.

Thank you all.

p.s. You are building a great group of kids at the Durham site. YOTA is not just about swimming and it shows.

YOTA Team After the the Race

To learn more about the meet, listen to a recent WUNC-FM interview with Tom Hazelett, Aquatics Director at the downtown Durham YMCA and Durham site coach for the YMCA of The Triangle swim team.  To learn more about the YOTA Swim Team, click here.

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