LHM Charities Contribution Allows SWAMI to Secure Much-Needed Training Equipment

LHM Charities' Contribution Allows SWAMI to Secure Much-Needed Training Equipment

ROSE PARK, SLC — For the second time in three years, the Larry H Miller Charititable Foundation awarded Race Swami a generous grant that allowed the Rose Park/Glendale-based outreach youth swim program to secure a substantial amount of much-needed training equipment for its 80-member strong organization.

Most of Race Swami’s athletes are considered underrepresented youth and reside in the neighborhoods of Salt Lake City’s west side communities—boroughs that include Rose Park, Glendale, Poplar Grove, and Fairpark. The training equipment, which includes high-quality fins, strapless swim paddles, and innovatively-designed pull buoys, can be very expensive, especially for a low-income family struggling to make ends meet. So three years ago, Race Swami set off to negate these expenses by providing the equipment for all its swimmers, regardless of whether they trained at one facility or the other (Steiner West Pool in Glendale, Northwest Rec Center in Rose Park). Months later, Larry H Miller Charitable Foundation provided a grant that made that wish happen for Race Swami.

“Two years ago, Larry H Miller Charitable Foundation awarded us with a grant that allowed our program to purchase some (Vasa Trainer) swim benches, which we store on deck. Those Vasa Trainers have been put to great use,” head coach and executive director Matt Finnigan said. “We were also able to acquire some fantastic swimming equipment — Finis streamline boards (used for kicking), Finis snorkels—stuff we use regularly. However, when we received that first grant, our team only had about 45, 46 kids. Since then, we’ve almost doubled our size. We obviously needed additional equipment for all our kids, plus we wanted to get some new stuff that we think will be helpful to their development. We’re excited to say the least.”

In addition to securing more of the streamline boards, snorkels, and swim paddles for the team, Finnigan was able to purchase 60 Finis Axis buoys—30 for each facility. The Axis buoy enables swimmers to pull without kicking, so it offers resistance training, allowing a swimmer to safely develop stronger stroke pulls in the water. “We don’t do a ton of resistance training, especially with our younger crew,” Finnigan said, “but to be able to give them a taste of it and take them along slowly, it’s going to be a huge help to them; another way to broaden their development.”

The team also applied grant money to purchase nearly 10 Finis Monofins (a Monofin is a single fin where both feet are in place, allowing swimmers to develop stronger, more efficient dolphin kicks), several Finis Tempo Trainers (an electronic device that fits under a swim cap and allows a swimmer to program a certain stroke rate so they can match their stroke to a beep), and some stretch bands to be used as part of dryland training exercise. The grant also includes $2500 that will go towards swimming scholarships for those swimmers in need of financial help in order to participate.

“Larry H Miller Charitable Foundation is amazing,” team president Leslie Motley stated. “Without their generosity and love for the underrepresented youth of Salt Lake Valley, we wouldn’t have the means necessary to help all these families out, and to help our kids improve in the ways they can. All this training equipment is vital to assisting them with improving their strokes and becoming more efficient in the water. I’ve seen the development over the last two or three years since we purchased the first round of gear and it’s astounding to see how far they’ve come. Now they’ll go even farther!”

Added Finnigan, "There aren't many swim programs in this state, let alone the country, where the program is providing all the gear for it's swimmers. I do know firsthand that it's an enormous help to our families that they don't need to go out and invest this stuff themselves, not that some of them could. What's really cool is that most of the gear we purchase is innovative and helpful to our kids, and thus, the reason we use them."

Race Swami was able to purchase a large amount of gear from a grant they received
from the Lary H Miller Charitable Foundation. This helps offset some of the expenses
low-income families must make in order for their children to participate.