Becoming a Swami
Joining Race Swami is a relatively easy process, but upon agreeing to join our organization, families need to be aware of the commitment and expectations that come with "Becoming a Swami!"
Attendance, character, maintaining academic standards, teamwork, team spirit, service projects, and 100% effort at all times are the hallmarks of this program. When a swimmer commits to our team, so too they agree to commit to these expectations in striving to become their very best.
"Children must be taught how to think, not what to think."
We offer a one week trial period for all prospective SWAMIs. This allows the family to decide whether the commitment is achievable and the environment the right fit. Additionally, it affords our coaches the same assessment of the swimmer and the likelihood in their ability to succeed in this special program.
Race Swami Vitals
Race Swami is a close-knit, community-driven organization based in Rose Park and Glendale, west side boroughs in Salt Lake City. The vast majority of our kids come from the neighboring communities of Rose Park, Poplar Grove, Fairpark, Glendale, Guadalupe Park, and Marmalade. There are a few families who reside outside these west side communities---and of course, we welcome all youth, regardless of socioeconomic status. Our team is culturally and economically diverse. Nearly 90% of our members receive financial assistance, some more than others depending on the financial need. At last count there were more than eight languages spoken within our Race Swami swimming community!
What is the club experience like at Race Swami?
Race Swami has a small club, community-fueled environment. The program is comprised of a roughly 80 athletes, ranging in ages 6-17, spread over seven separate groups (four skill levels). We keep our groups small so that the swimmer-to-coach ratio remains manageable and optimum. Almost 100% of our youths' swimming experience began with Race Swami! Our coaches know every swimmers' name regardless of group or whether the coach heads that group. We tend to go a little overboard on the technical aspects of swimming, but it's all in the name of improving efficiency and moving through the water more effectively and safely. So too, we ensure that those who can't afford the investment of the sport of swimming can still be thriving members of the program. We generally celebrate an annual "Fiesta" in the summer and we like to include our awesome donors, team supporters, and community leaders. We also host a number of family-oriented gatherings that allow our team to join together regularly and celebrate team achievements. As for our Swami Fiestas, they have become part of the SWAMI LORE. Families have been known to bring cherished homemade dishes from their country of origin, of which many family recipes are generations old!
Is it "hard work" being a SWAMI?
We will not sugarcoat this: yes, it's hard work (but equally enriching!). We expect our SWAMIs to maintain excellent grades, to make every practice they can, to become amazing citizens in the community, and to become dependable, upstanding teammates. There is no easy path to building character and instilling accountability, and it doesn't happen overnight. In fact, building character is a lifelong process! Rest assured, our nearly 80 SWAMIs are happy, hard-working, and confident kids, regardless of socioeconomic situation, ethnicity, or otherwise. The swimmers tell us all the time that they wouldn't want to be anywhere else. We have a group of great kids who enjoy spending time with each other and within the team dynamic. This is a very special place and unique to Utah!
Where did the name "Race Swami" come from?
Swami Head Coach Matt Finnigan's swim coach growing up was Kevin Perry (Los Altos, California). Kevin generally referred to his swimmers at Los Altos Aquatic Club (LAAC) as his "Swamis." The training Matt experienced under "KP" was more than just about swimming—it was a series of life-learning lessons. Kevin equated the term "Swami" as being a master of oneself and as individuals who strived to always yearn to learn---no matter the age, experience, or skill level. When KP passed away in April 2008, Matt wanted to dedicate the term and meaning in Kevin's honor. In 2011, Race Swami was born!
The name "Race" actually pays ode to former Olympic Gold medalist and good friend, Dr. Gary Hall Sr., founder of The Race Club based in the Florida Keys. Gary and his group's zeal for racing is the positive expression and outcome from all the hard work and discovery our youth experience in the sport.
Contact Swami by phone: (801) 618-9807