Race Swami Fast Facts
Race Swami is based in the communities of Rose Park and Glendale, west side neighborhoods located in Salt Lake City. We use three facilities for our seven training groups: Northwest Rec Center in Rose Park, Steiner West Pool located at the Sorenson Unity Center in Glendale, and the Granger High School Pool in West Valley City.
Coaching Staff: We currently have a staff of six outstanding coaches; Matt Finnigan (Executive Director and Head Coach), Pam Chamberlain (Head Age Group Coach/RS1 and RS3 groups), Hillary Hermansen (RS2 Coach), Sienna Bassham (RS1 and RS2 Coach), and Ava Binder (RS1 Coach). Our coaches are all Red Cross CPR certified and USA Swimming certified, and some are bilingual (Spanish being the second language). Additionally, Matt and Pam are ASCA (American Swimming Coaches Association) Level III Certified Coaches.
RISING SWAMI I: This beginner-level group trains 2 times per week for about one hour each session (with some introductory-level dryland activities for 15 minutes). This group trains at our home pool at the Northwest Rec Center in Rose Park.
Some room still available.
RISING SWAMI II: This beginner-intermediate group trains 4-5 times per week for one hour each session (plus a 15 minute dryland session three days per week). The RS2's train at the Northwest Rec facility and the Steiner West Pool in Glendale on Fridays.
This group has some limited space available.
RISING SWAMI III: This advanced-beginner group trains 4-5 times per week for one hour each session (plus a 15 minute dryland session). The RS3's train at the Northwest Rec facility in Rose Park and the Steiner West Pool in Glendale.
This group has some space available.
JUNIOR SWAMI: Junior SWAMIs train 5 times per week for 2 hours per session (plus 30 minutes of dryland before each practice, and a 1 hour yoga session once per week) and three two hour sessions (with 20 minute dryland sessions). This group trains at the Granger Pool in West Valley City alongside the Kamiwaza Group. Ongoing personal journal is required.
Limited space available.
KAMIWAZA: Kamiwaza trains 5 times per week for 2 hours per session (plus 30 minutes of dryland before each practice, and a 1 hour yoga session once per week) and three two hour sessions (with 20 minute dryland sessions). This group trains at the Granger Pool in West Valley City alongside the Kamiwaza Group. Ongoing personal journal is required.
This group is currently filled.
NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE: 1 session per week. All sessions are 35 minutes teaching water safety to beginner-level students who are part of the Neighborhood House after school program. Call for more info.
Swami by the Numbers:
Club Status: USA Swimming sanctioned (member of Utah Swimming, USA Swimming's Local Swimming Committee); nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization; outreach program serving at-risk, low-income youth
Total Number of Athletes at Race Swami: 82 swimmers, year 'round
Race Swami's Age Range: Age 6-18, though we consider swimmers younger than 6 depending on grasp of skills and maturity level.
Race Swami's Ethnic Diversity: This organization is a melting pot of ethnically diverse youth reflecting the surrounding neighborhoods of Salt Lake City's west side community. Latino: 58%, Caucasian: 28%, Polynesian/Pacific Islander: 6%, Asian: 6%, African-American: 4%, Other: 4%
We also serve a diverse socioeconomic population. Many of our families are eligible for financial assistance.
Number of Swamis who receive Financial Assistance for Membership Dues: 78%
Percentage of Swamis who receive free or reduced lunch: 67%
Race Swami is a year 'round program. About 90% of the athletes reside in the neighborhoods of Rose Park, Glendale, Poplar Grove, Guadalupe Park, Fairpark, Marmalade and surrounding communities. We also serve swimmers from the communities of West Valley City, South Salt Lake, Sandy, Midvale, and Millcreek.
Race Swami Official Team Colors: Green & Gold
The Race Swami Logo: The "fleur de lis" adorned on the green and gold caps of Race Swami reflect the symbol represented by Lily Finnigan (daughter of Head Coach Matt Finnigan), who fights a neuromuscular disease known as Mitochondria Complex-1. Currently, there are no cures. The logo symbolizes her perseverance, as well as standing for courage, commitment, and purpose.
The name: Race Swami is derived from a term used by SWAMI Head Coach Matt Finnigan's swim coach growing up, the late Kevin Perry. Kevin generally viewed his swimmers as students on a journey---not just a journey to merely "swim fast," but a journey of continually yearning to learn... to master one's own life. To live a just and meaningful life. Thus, as the story goes, "KP" referred to his swimmers as "Swamis." The "race" component of the club name pays an ode to The Race Club, a Florida Keys-based organization founded by the ultimate "swim swami," Olympian Gary Hall Sr.
Team Pride: Like with any swim team, there are many "team cheers" celebrated at Race Swami. What's different though, is that some of the cheers are conducted in Spanish, a language often spoken by the majority of SWAMI parents. Team cheers are not celebrated just at swim meets, but after every practice for every group. That's been a tradition since Day 1. So too, TEAM PRIDE is a main source of Race Swami's lore. Both parents and swimmers proudly don colorful (and now legendary!) SWAMI shirts to meets, school, work, play, etc. The first day of school for every SWAMI is now a day celebrated with wearing their favorite SWAMI shirt. There are a few "face-painter" parents who come ready to cheer at swim meets near and far. And special metallic gold caps are used exclusively for the "big" meets by those who compete. Race Swami's official mottos are, "Sí Se Puede!" ("Yes We Can!") and "Make a Difference."