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 team also trains in West Valley City at the Granger High School Pool. The vast majority of our kids come from the neighboring communities of Rose Park, Poplar Grove, Fairpark, Glendale, Guadalupe Park, Marmalade, South Salt Lake, and West Valley City. 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 82 athletes, ranging in ages 6-17, spread over seven separate groups (five skill levels). We keep our groups smaller 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 efficiently 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 a team "Fiesta" at the end of July, which includes inviting our awesome donors, team supporters, and community leaders. We also host a number of family-fueled gatherings that allow our team to join together regularly and celebrate team achievements. Our Swami Fiestas have become part of the SWAMI LORE as families have been known to bring cherished homemade dishes, of which many recipes are generations old! We also host a friendly homemade salsa competition at the season-ending Fiesta.
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, 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 80+ SWAMIs are happy, hard-working, and confident kids, regardless of socioeconomic situation, ethnic make-up, or otherwise. They 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 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) 205-4881