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RENO News - 1/14/19

It’s meet week! After a long break from swim meets, we get back to racing this weekend. RENO will be attending two meets: the Blizzard Blast in Carson City and the Washington Open in Federal Way, WA. Later in the week, I will send out information for the Carson City meet. Click here for Washington Open info.

Due to the meets and the Martin Luther King Junior Holiday, there will be NO practice for any group Friday – Monday. Normal practice will resume Tuesday, January 22. 

Upcoming Practice Changes

- Pre-Seniors – No dryland on Tuesday or Thursday this week

- National – Practice from 5 – 6 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday 6 – 7:30 PM at Northwest

- There will be no practice on Friday, January 18 or Saturday, January 19 due to the Washington Open and Carson meets

- There will be no practice on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 21

- On Monday, February 25th the high school swim season starts. This means several of the schools will be using Northwest Pool for practice from 3:00 - 4:15 PM. The tentative plan for our practice schedule will be to shift all practices 15 minutes later -- the start and end times.

Nevada Swim & Dive vs. UNLV - Tuesday, January 15

The Nevada Wolf Pack Swimming and Diving team hosts UNLV tomorrow at 4 PM at Lombardi Pool on the UNR campus. This will be a great experience for RENO swimmers to watch a high-level collegiate dual meet. There will still be practice offered, but I encourage you to take your child to the meet and support the Pack! 

If your swimmer is interested in timing, there may be an opportunity for him/her. Please arrive at the pool at 3:30 PM and let them know you would like to help time. It'll be fun for them to have a front-row seat.

Pacific Zone-4 All Star Meet

The deadline to apply for the Zone-4 All Star meet is Tuesday, January 15 if you aren’t going to the Carson meet, or you can turn it by 2:00 PM on Sunday at the meet.

Click here for the application

Swim for Fund$

Our annual Swim for Fund$ fundraiser kicks off today! Coaches will be handing out packets today and tomorrow. Please be sure you get the packet from your child. If left in a swim bag, they quickly get moldy and disintegrate…. Not talking from personal experience : ). 

Parent Education

Over the past few years, USA Swimming has received a lot of negative press regarding sexual misconduct by swim coaches. The behavior of these coaches is completely unacceptable and disgusting. 

Unfortunately, the past culture of USA Swimming allowed this type of behavior and, in some cases, there were cover-ups of inappropriate behavior by coaches. The victims who endured this behavior found the courage to report the inappropriate behavior and thankfully these coaches have received lifetime bans from swimming and, in some situations, prison time. 

Realizing their failures, USA Swimming and the USA Olympic Committee have formed the Safe Sport initiative. While I do believe there can be improvements to this initiative – and I have shared these concerns with USA Swimming – it is a step in the right direction. Safe Sport not only covers sexual misconduct and physical abuse but it deals with emotional abuse as well.

Safe Sport requires all coaches and others who have contact with the swimmers (officials, team travel chaperones, etc.) to take the Safe Sport class. In addition, there is a class that athletes can take, so they are more aware of inappropriate behavior and the proper ways to report this behavior. Click here to access the athlete class

One of my concerns with SafeSport is I don’t believe there is a strong enough push to educate parents. Youth athletes are still developing mentally. Often times, these athletes aim to please and want to do whatever they can to make his/her coach happy. A “coach”/predator can easily prey on the athlete’s desire to please and twist it into the “coach’s” benefit. This process is called grooming. And, often times, someone who grooms an athlete also grooms the parents. It is a sick and meticulous process that can go on for years.

A high-profile case over the last year involved a former Olympic swimmer, Ariana Kukors. Kukors accused her past coach of starting the grooming process when she was 13. As she grew older, the coach’s inappropriate behavior continued to escalate. Due to the grooming process and her desire to please the coach, she thought his behavior was OK and acceptable.

I don’t know Ariana Kukors’s parents, but I hope that if they were educated on the grooming process they would have immediately stepped in and saved her from the abuse. But again, a predator not only grooms the child, he/she grooms the parents.

It is important that parents are educated in what to look for. Here are some signs of grooming:

- A predator might pay special attention to a child and make him or her feel special.

- A predator might isolate your child by involving him or her in fun activities that require them to be alone together.

- A predator might touch your child in your presence so that he or she thinks that you are comfortable with the touching.

- Keep in mind that the first physical contact between a predator and his or her victim is often nonsexual and designed to desensitize the child.

- A predator might take advantage of a child’s natural curiosity about sex by telling “dirty” jokes, showing him or her pornography, or by playing sexual games.

- A predator may offer to play games or buy treats for young children.

- A predator might present him or herself as a sympathetic listener when parents, friends, and other disappoint the child.

- A predator might eventually treat the child victim as a co-conspirator in their “relationship.”

For a more detailed explanation of each item, click here to read an article from EducateEmpowerKids.org. 

My goal with Reno Aquatic Club is to obviously not subject any child to this behavior from any of our coaches, but continue to educate our swimmers and parents on the red flags of inappropriate behavior and signs of grooming.

In addition, USA Swimming has recently launched a Safe Sport Recognized Club Program. I am beginning the process of this program, and I look forward to making sure RENO receives this recognition. 

If you have any questions, concerns, and/or suggestions on ways we can further educate about this topic, please feel free to contact me.

Each week, I will post the “Parent Education” section on the website.   Click here to read the archived articles.

Meet Schedule

Here are the upcoming meets for Reno Aquatic Club:

- January 18 – 20 – Blizzard Blast / Carson City (all swimmers not going to Washington)

- January 17 – 20 – Washington Open / Federal Way, WA (all qualified)

- February 8 – 10 – Douglas Dolfins Valentine's Day Invite / Minden, NV (all) 

- March 3 – Zone All-Star Meet (those seleced)

- March 13 – 15 – Pacific 14-Under JO Meet (Qualification times needed – talk with coach to see if swimmer should attend)

If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thank you for your support.

Go RENO!

Ryan Evans

Head Coach