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