This segment was aired on KSL statewide on May 10th, 2013:
You may also access mp3 file at: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=545&sid=25176175
This message reproduced with permission from Zions Bank. © COPYRIGHT 2013 ZIONS BANK.
May 10th, 2013 @ 12:38pm
This is Chris Redgrave for Zions Bank Speaking on Business.
While growing up, one of the most important mentors in Matt Finnigan's life was his swim coach. Matt carried on the influence from his coach on by being a coach at one of the local high schools for nine years, where he led his swimmers to state championships. He always felt the pull to offer his services to kids who didn't have access to swimming programs … which eventually lead to the creation of Race Swami.
Race Swami is a non-profit USA swim organization dedicated to the success of Salt Lake City's west side youth. Matt says what makes Race Swami unique is they're the only club serving underrepresented youth. The club has a diverse ethnic makeup, which happens to include the group three times more likely to drown. In fact, one day Matt figured his swimmers speak eight different languages.
The other half of the dynamic team who founded Race Swami is team president and board chair Leslie Motley. After retiring from a 32-year teaching career and she still wanted to give kids tools to be successful. That's how the non-profit was founded. She's also a champion for parents, educating them and connecting them with services.
Right now Race Swami is housed at the Northwest Recreation Center. Room is tight because the club is growing, and over 50 percent of their kids receive financial assistance through grants and donors. Matt and Leslie negotiate with families on what they're able to pay for their kids' swimming lessons. In exchange, they ask parents to give back 12 hours of volunteer work a year. They have a relationship with a swim store in town to get their equipment and supplies at a discount.
And the kids are showing what a life-changing impact Race Swami has been. One girl being bullied at school said joining gave her the confidence to stand up for herself … and created a network of buddies. Another little boy asked his parents to give him swim lessons instead of a toy for Christmas.
For more information or to donate, visit raceswami.org.
For Zions Bank, I'm Chris Redgrave, speaking on business.
Race Swami 801-243-5718 or 801-205-4881 www.raceswami.org