July 7, 2017
SWAMIs go to Santa Barbara!
This summer, 40 athletes from the Race Swami swim program had the experience of a lifetime when they earned the right to compete at the 2017 Semana Nautica Invitational swim meet in Santa Barbara, California. The event was held on July 1st and 2nd. The team traveled with three SWAMI coaches and six chaperones, marking this as the first out-of-state team trip for the program. The Santa Barbara meet presented many “firsts” for several SWAMIs— the first time on an airplane, the first time visiting California, and the first time experiencing the coast.
The two-day meet was also a chance for these young SWAMIs to compete with swimmers from Northern, Central, and Southern California, as more than twenty teams were present at this storied invitational held at the Los Baños del Mar Pool next to the Santa Barbara Harbor for nearly 50 years. Race Swami finished an impressive 2nd overall at the swim meet.
As one SWAMI wrote in her journal, “We were so fortunate to be able to go on this trip to Santa Barbara! All the money we raised, all the hard work our parents put into this for us by working late nights at Jazz concession stands... The whole team working together helping us to get to Santa Barbara. It was like we were on a mission! It was an amazing trip and I’ll never forget this experience!”
As Head Coach Matt Finnigan put it, “Team trips can really engage the kids in many ways—as teammates, they grow closer with each other—something that can only achieved by traveling together. It’s also an opportunity to be more independent. Best of all—they learn so many new things while experiencing this new environment. It was a terrific trip and we accomplished a lot. I’m really proud of them and the way they handled themselves.”