Stan Bradley


Event is a fun filled day to strengthen team bonds and celebrate a successful season.


HARBESON, Del.— As MAKO Swimming approaches the championship portion of their short course season, the Sussex County, Delaware based swim organization is pausing to celebrate their accomplishments and create some team bonding in a fun-filled atmosphere. 

“We wanted a way to acknowledge the fact we completed a short-course season in this crazy COVID world,” said team owner and President, Lisa Morgan.  “But we also wanted to help prepare the USA Swimmers for the championship portion of the short-course season AND, we wanted to create some more camaraderie between our year-round USA swimmers and our seasonal recreational swimmers who are finishing their winter season.”

From those thoughts came the idea for the inaugural MAKO Cup.  The event will be held March 5, 2022 in Georgetown, Del at the Sussex Academy Aquatic Center with races starting at 1:00 p.m.

“This isn’t your traditional swim meet,” said MAKO Swimming head coach Strohm Edwards.  “Sure it features many of the same races you would see at a ‘normal’ swim meet.  But this one was built on the idea of a team atmosphere while combining fun races too.  It’s going to be a blast.”

The meet has combined both parts of MAKO Swimming, the USA Swimming based MAKO Swim Club and the seasonal Sussex Community Swim Team (SCST) swimmers.  Coach Edwards and Assistant Coach Matt McDonough then divided the teams and coaches into a Purple Team and a Blue Team, taking care to balance the teams competitively as much as possible.  The meet won’t be scored like a high school meet, it will be scored more like a traditional swim meet but the cheering and team spirit will most certainly be evident.

“We want them to cheer for each other, no matter their age, level of swim ability or years competed.  They are two teams cheering for their teammates.  We hope it creates some new friendships and a whole lot of fun,” said Morgan.

Of course, beyond the backstroke, freestyle, fly and breaststroke the event will feature several mixed team relays and events and a few not so normal races.

“There may be a few shark themed inflatables, fins and general silliness,” said Morgan.  “This is a meet not for time or points, but for fun, so we will definitely bring a pool party vibe to a portion of the day.  We’ll have music and laughs and funny hats,” she added.

The day also features a fundraising component for MAKO Swimming.  A group of dedicated parents has arranged a 50/50 raffle, basket auction, MOE’s dinner kits and more to help generate funds for the not-for-profit 501c3 organization.

“We can’t thank our dedicated parents enough,” said Edwards.  “They really stepped up to help this event not only be fun, but to hopefully generate some funds as well.”

MAKO Swimming, which practices in Georgetown and Milford, Del., has a roster that at times exceeds 150 swimmers, providing some a seasonal recreational format and others a year-round USA Swimming experience. Each program is designed to provide the youth more knowledge, experience and fun in the sport of swimming.  Their largest expense as one can imagine is facility rentals as they pay yearly to use the Sussex Academy Aquatic Center and the Milford Boys & Girls Club.  Beyond the pools, coach salaries, insurance, technology, equipment and the travel costs to meets all add up when trying to provide a quality experience for each youth swimmer.

For a club in just their fifth year of existence, MAKO Swimming has become one of the largest on the Eastern Shore and recently captured their third straight Two Bays Swim League Winter Championship while last summer claiming the Delmarva Swim Association (DSA) Championship over 19 other local teams.

“That was a big win for us,” said Edwards.  “It showed that building a team with the right philosophies and right structure can lead to success.  We are super proud of winning DSAs this past summer.”

Beyond local success, MAKO Swim Club, the USA Swimming arm of MAKO Swimming, sent 10 swimmers to the region’s Junior Olympics, numerous others to Senior and Silver Championships and three swimmers to Eastern Zones, who brings together the best swimmers from Maine to Virginia.

“We have a pretty good thing going here,” said Morgan.  “This type of event is something we can to do to make it better and strengthen our club.  We hope it builds the kind of momentum we need heading into championship season and the summer.”