March 9, 2019
Say hello to Ellis Winfree from West Hartford, CT👋🏾. This incredible young man is worthy of recognition and I’ want to tell you why. As you know, swim parents are not ordinary parental guardians. They are competitive, protective and very determined. They have to be if they want their child to shine in a pool full of competition. I get emails from parents all across the US wanting feedback on their kids swim or just wanting to share. As I wish I could respond to all of them, my light guides me to the people who need me the most. One day I received a moving message from a Mother who just lost her Father and wanted her son to have a diverse opportunity to succeed. I had already seen him through social media and she found me the same. She saw a post about The Black History Invitational Swim Meet and wanted Ellis to race. We discussed his times and even through email, I could tell how much she loves her son. So I connected her to @dcwave director and encouraged her to be resilient. While attending the meet, I heard someone yell Afroswimmers! It was @organically_vera , the determined Mother who made sure her son got every opportunity to race. She had the biggest smile and all I saw was joy on her. She thanked me for responding to her and told me Ellis was there and doing well. He competed as an individual ( unattached) and was not there with a team. But he had his Mom and unbeknownst to him, he had me too. Because of all the work @serentljones and I were doing, I missed his race in Saturday. I had not planned on attending the meet again Sunday, but I made arrangements to be there just in time to see Ellis race. It was worth it. I wish I could have captured the look on his face when he realized he had a coach there for him. He constructively received my feedback on his race and swam with focus and confidence. Ellis was everything his Mother said he was. Talented. Fast. Strong. Competitive. I ended up extending my trip in DC and he was worth it. @e__winfree I am so proud of you and your Mom. Your Grandfather is with you. Continue to be a leader. It’s what you are.
S W I M M O R E.