All posts by Gareth Patterson

Support Ygnacio Wood pool

Have you ever tried to convey something so meaningful that you completely lacked the appropriate words? This is how I feel now; it may be easier to tell my story and share some background.

I am the proud father of a first-year 6-year-old member of the Ygnacio Wood Swim Club and Team. If anyone ever told me that I’d spend my entire summer sweltering for hours each and every weekend in 100 plus degree temperatures to watch my son swim for 10 minutes, I would have laughed.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened; however, something changed and our family couldn’t think of anything else we would rather do more.

It might have been the day our son sprinted off and dashed into the pool entrance; all we could hear from the outside were voices yelling his name. Twenty-year-olds down to children his age were all welcoming him and giving him high-fives. Do you know what that does for someone his age? For someone of any age?

My son went from liking swimming to absolutely loving it. He didn’t just love swimming, though; he loved his coaches and his team because they all became his friends, his swimming family. Events at Ygnacio center around the pool, but they aren’t all focused on swimming laps.

You see, our program isn’t just about swimming fast; it is about friends, family and fostering an environment that engenders fearless self-confidence. Our coaches swam on our team; they were developed by the coaches that came before them.

The spirit that pervades this team is so tangible that it is infectious. Our coaches are simply amazing. They became amazing because of the environment that Yginacio Wood fosters. They are college students that readily give up their summers.

They could be chasing internships or doing a hundred other things, yet they absolutely look forward to their time coaching. They create an environment that allows our kids to be amazing in turn.

I’ve been personally contacted by parents from other teams complimenting our coaches’ spirit, enthusiasm and sportsmanship.

One of our coaches who has been a part of our team for 16 years put it best: “It goes farther than being in a lane and swimming with someone; this place is a community that you hang out at. Whatever kids are here are your friends that you have fun with. I chose to coach because I wanted to give what Ygancio gave me to someone else.”

I would be more than proud if my son ever filled those shoes and became an Ygnacio Coach some day.

Support Ygnacio Wood on our Kickstarter Campaign

We celebrated our 50th anniversary this year; this club has been the spark of evolution for generations of young swimmers.

Something like this deserves to be preserved; however, like any non-profit, we have our challenges. We rely solely on the dues paid by our membership, and no matter how responsible we are, the costs of running a pool are high.

Historically, many neighborhoods in our area were constructed with pools and parks as a central community area. Unfortunately, over time, most of these pools were neglected and filled in because either their neighborhoods were unable to afford them or lack of a central organization to manage them.

Ygnacio Wood is one of the few that remains.

Our entire pool is in desperate need of repair. It got so bad this season that the bottom of our pool started cutting the feet of our swimmers.

We’ve spent the past few years raising money to repair our pool; it isn’t enough. We are exploring all of our options to repair our pool before our next season. We owe it to our coaches, we owe it to our team, we owe it to future generations of swimmers to repair their pool and to preserve and continue this legacy.

Please help us continue to develop confident young adults through the pursuit of excellence in swimming, in life, and having fun with friends. We will yell your name during one of our famous pre-meet cheers!

As one of our historic chants goes: You Wish You Were a Seahorse!

Thank you!

Dustin Boone, father of Wyatt (6) and Will (4)

Awards Night

The season is over for many of our swimmers, and it is time to celebrate.  This is when we count up the stars, the coaches vote on the swimmers with the most spirit, and we celebrate the end of another great season as a Seahorse.

This is an emotional time for many of our coaches.  Some whom have been swimming at YWST since they were four or five years old wind down their involvement, and the teenagers who are stepping into their shoes join the ranks.  We reflect on the season, and every child gets some recognition of their effort.

County Meet

The fastest swimmers of YWST head off to the County meet to put their best abilities up against the fastest swimmers in the county.  This is the brass ring for the competitive swimmers!  While not everyone qualifies to compete, those who go, represent YWST well.


Battle for the Stars – Aug 13

Just when you thought it was over, we have one more fun event at the pool… the Battle for the Stars.

Come down and swim against your child, cheer on a weird event,  or just come to hang out.  We don’t worry about times… we don’t worry about anything!  It is all about the fun!

City Meet

For most of our swimmers, this is the final meet of the year, held at Cowell Pool in Concord.  We swim against many teams we don’t see during the season, and it is the last chance for our swimmers who are close to a “County” time to qualify for the County meet.  This is a fast pool, and you can taste the excitement on the deck.

Sit under the trees, watch your kids, and enjoy the season as it comes to an end!

Dance Night

Dance night is a theme dance… come dressed as a super hero, or an 1980s character… whatever our theme is.

The coaches are the best… they will dance with all the kids and show us how to part on one of the last fun nights of the season.  This is about ending the season with a bang!

Coach Appreciation Night

This is a night for the coaches… they’ve given us so much all season and now it is time for us to give back to them.  We’ll talk about them, and then the kids will share hand-made cards to each coach.  We’ll collect some money as gifts to the coaches and show them how much we care.

League Meet

The highlight of our season!  We swim against our league teammates to determine the fastest teams (in both A division and B division) for bragging rights for the next year.

More importantly, it is an opportunity to show off our team spirit – and that’s where Ygnacio Wood excels.  We have by far the most spirit of any team, and our swimmers prepare for it, our coaches push it, and our teenagers show all the other teams how much fun it is to be a Seahorse.

This is a two-day meet held in Pittsburg, and it is by far the most exciting meet.  Come and enjoy.. it is what our “pump up” week is all about!

Watch our 15-18 boys “blue up” for the final relay race of the weekend.  Watch our kids cheer their team mates on like no other time of the year.  Watch our parents go nuts!!!  Be there at 8:45am on Saturday to see what our coaches have planned for the team cheer!